If, or rather when, you get a flat tire you need to know what to do. It can be particularly scary and frustrating to women who have little experience changing a tire. This article is a step by step guide on how to do it.
The first step is to be safe. If you have roadside assistance and a cell phone, give them a call. Then put the hood up and sit in the passenger seat as it looks like you have someone else that went for help and would be right back. Once roadside assistance arrives they will change the flat tire in very little time. If you don’t have roadside assistance you can try to call your Utah auto repair shop or someone who can help you.
If you don’t have the option of calling for some help then you need to bite the bullet and change the tire. Make sure you have all the tools that you need for changing a tire already in your car. It’s also good to have some hand wipes because you’re going to get dirty.
Start by positioning the car away from the road on a level patch of ground. Driving on the wheel with the blown tire can sometimes damage it, but it’s nothing your Utah auto repair shop can’t fix. It’s more important to find a safe place to change the tire. Familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and the instructions on how to change a tire. Pay special attention to where you need to put the jack as it needs to be placed in a specific spot or you will damage your vehicle.
Set your parking brake and put a couple of rocks or blocks in front and in back of the tires that are opposite of the one you’re changing ( if you’re changing a back tire put them on the two front tires and vice versa). Remove the wheel cover (if you have one) with a screw driver. Take the “L” shaped wrench and place it on a lug nut pointing straight to your left. Hold onto the car with your hands to steady yourself and, using your foot stomp, down hard on the wrench. If you are unable to budge it, you may need to stand on it and jump, but be careful. You need to loosen the lug nuts but don’t take them off. Remember the saying, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey”.
Now use the jack to raise the vehicle until the tire is about 2 inches off of the ground. Finish taking the lug nuts the rest of the way off and remove the tire. Pay attention to which side of the lug nuts is facing out as they need to go back on in the right direction. Next put the spare tire on. Try to position the tire so you can lift it on and get it in place quickly. Screw the lug nuts in by hand. Again, make sure the tapered end is facing the right direction (facing the tire).
Don’t tighten the lug nuts all the way just yet as we don’t want the car falling off the jack. Lower the jack and move it out of the way. Now finish tightening the lug nuts. When they are tight, position the lug nut wrench facing straight out to the right. Hold onto the car with both hands and give the wrench a couple of good kicks. Double check the lug nuts to be sure that they are tight.
Now it’s time to clean up and grab all your tools. Take your tire to your nearest Utah automotive repair shop so they can repair the hole. With some knowledge and a little practice you can feel confident in your ability to change a flat tire.