Few things can deflate your day faster than one of the four wheels deflating under you. Most of us have been there. You know, on the side of the road, hoping you have a cell phone signal and that there’s still a spare in your trunk. That is if you actually know how to change a tire. If you don’t, you should. Let’s face it, no one wants to be at the mercy of a fickle cell tower or the whim of roadside assistance on their dinner break. And you don’t have to be! Fortunately, we’ve got a how-to guide for changing a flat tire in 5 easy steps that just might get you off the side of the road one day – and back to the business of getting where you’re going.
- Be ready – before you need to be ready – The first thing you need to do to prepare for a flat tire is to make sure you have all the necessary tools – a jack, a lug wrench, flashlight, flares, and a spare tire, well before you ever have to face changing your tire. Make sure if you do find yourself with a flat tire, that you pull your car away from the flow of traffic and to a safe, flat area if possible.
- Remove the hubcap – In order to loosen the lug nuts holding the wheel on the rim, you need to remove the hub cap. Most hubcaps typically just pop off with the help of a flat head screwdriver. Once the lug nuts are revealed, loosen them with the lug wrench but don’t remove them entirely.
- Elevate the car – by jacking the side up with the flat. Once the jack is locked firmly in place, remove the lug nuts and put them in a pocket or the glove box to keep them from getting lost in the mix. Remove the flat tire from the rim.
- Get your spare tire lined up – line the lug nut holes up with your spare and reattach each lug nut, tightening by hand.
- Shift the weight of the car back to the tire – by lowering the jack. Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts down much as possible. It’s important to tighten the lug nuts in place once the weight of the car is back on the tires.
And then, you’re on your way. It doesn’t hurt to have roadside assistance even if you can change your own tire. It’s a great feeling to know that if it happens to you, you’ve got this! If you’d like to learn how to do more than change a tire, you should check out the automotive technology program at J-Tech Institute. J-Tech is helping students get the hands-on training and skills they need to launch successful careers in the world of automotive technology. Contact J-Tech to learn more about the automotive and diesel technology programs. Or schedule a tour of our 168,000 square foot training facility today!