Knowing how to change a flat tire is an essential skill for all drivers. Flat tires can happen anywhere and at anytime and the best way to handle any emergency situation is to be prepared.
Your vehicle should have come with all of the tools that are needed to change a flat tire. This includes instructions that can be found in the owner’s manual, a spare tire, a lug wrench and a jack. It’s good practice to check to make sure all of these are in your vehicle and in working condition before an emergency to ensure you are fully equipped. It would also be helpful to keep a pair or gloves, a flashlight and a rain poncho in your vehicle as well in case it is dark when you get a flat or raining.
The first thing to do once you realize you have a flat tire, is to slowly reduce your speed and scan your surroundings for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. Do not abruptly brake or turn your steering wheel.
- Find a safe area to stop
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Apply your parking brake
- Remove the hubcap or wheel cover
- Loosen the lug nuts (Do not remove them!)
- Place the jack under the vehicle
- Raise the vehicle with the jack
- Unscrew the lug nuts
- Remove the flat tire
- Mount the spare tire on the lug bolts
- Tighten the lug nuts by hand
- Lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts again
- Lower the vehicle completely
- Replace the hubcap
- Stow all of the equipment
- Check tire pressure in the recently replace tire
- Take your flat to a certified technician
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