Let’s face it – there’s a fair majority of us who don’t know how to change a tire. We usually call up our dad, stand on the side of the road hoping a nice civilian will stop to help, or call AAA. That’s all fine and dandy, but it would be helpful to know how to put on a spare when you’re in a tight situation when these options aren’t so easy to come by.
Steps to Changing a Flat Tire:
1. Brake on a flat road — put the car in park and make sure the vehicle is not on an incline or hill. Make sure to chock (either with a big rock, wooden block, or something else similar) the wheels opposite of the side with a flat.
2. Pry off the wheel cover — the silver plate over the wheel must come off. To do so, pry the plate off with a screwdriver as if you’re taking the lid off a can of paint. Apply pressure behind the cap and push outward on opposing sides. NOTE: Some vehicles have a hub cap, which requires loosening the nuts with a wrench.
3. Loosen the lug nuts – the lug nuts (nuts exposed after you have taken the wheel cover off) must be loosened using a wrench. Using the side of the wrench that fits securely around the lug nuts, twist to the left. This is important to do before the car is jacked up.
4. Jack the car up six inches – using a jack, lift the car up about six inches. There’s two kinds of jacks:
- Scissor jack (a) – loosen the jack by turning the knob to the right. Look at the owner’s manual to see where exactly to place the jack. You want to wedge it under the car frame, then twist to the right using the wrench to jack the car up.
- Hydraulic jack (b) – place in appropriate spot, then pump up and down. Use even strokes to cut down on labor.
5. Take the lug nuts off – take the lug nuts completely off. Make sure to keep them in a stationary place so you don’t lose them or they will easily roll away.
6. Center spare tire on wheel studs – the place where the lug nuts go. It should align easily, then you can install the lugs nuts back with your hands.
7. Tighten the lug nuts – Once the tire is centered and the lug nuts are positioned, use the wrench to tighten them.
8. Jack the car down – insert the jack handle back under the car frame to lower the vehicle. Twist the knob to the left with the wrench to lower.
9. One last tighten – once it is lowered, tighten the lug nuts once again in a star pattern. Up, down, left & right to make sure the wheel has equal torque.
If you are renting a travel trailer from us, ask where the spare tire is kept. We have tire insurance if you feel like you need it.