How to Change a Tire

Some things cannot be undone. Aging, death and global fondness for fries are only a few of the many implacable aspects of life. However, tires luckily fail to fall in that category, being one of the equally numerous things that can be changed with great or no effort at all. Gloriously sitting in between light bulbs and garments, tires are as easy to change as it is to make a sandwich.

Busting a tire is not exactly what drivers look forward to but when it happens, you best be prepared to deal with the nuisance and get back on the road as fast as possible. Getting a flat around town won't be a problem in over 90% of the cases since the likelihood of finding a car-servicing station is higher than some SAT scores that we know of.

However, if you do need to change your tire ASAP, pull right to avoid traffic and create a safe environment to work in. Then get a grip and check your vehicle for the following items: 1 jack, 1 tire iron and of course, 1 spare tire.

Next, grab the iron and start loosing the nuts on your wheel in a star pattern by rotating the iron counter-clock wise. Once this has been done, grab your car's instructions manual, assuming you still have it (by the way, you should never throw it unless you use it as a weapon against possums in your back yard), and search for pointers on how to mount your car jack.

A relatively simple task, the jack has to be positioned in such a way to reduce the risk of injury as much as possible: place it under the car, right next to the flat tire and look for a ridge in the chassis. Once found, try to get the jack leveled and jack the car up. As soon as you have the wheel raised to approx. 1-2 inches form the ground, move to the next stage.

Since you've already loosened the wheel nuts, remove both them and the tire and place them by your side in a spot within reach. If you plan on taking a quick brake, do not lean against the car since pressure may cause the car to balance in an “unfriendly” way.

To complete the operation, grab the spare tire from the rear of the car, place it in the freshly exposed spot and align it with the bolts. Before beginning to tighten the nuts on the bolts check that the air nozzle is on your side, this way you'll know if you mounted the wheel backwards or not. Once you have checked the wheel, lightly tighten the nuts in the same star pattern and take a step back to admire your work.

After you have replaced the tire, jack your car down and further tighten the nuts. Remember, you're changing a tire not working out so don't exhaust yourself trying to tighten them as much as possible. Now that you're all done, get behind the wheel and resume your itinerary and don't forget to get a new replacement tire as soon as possible as you're out of the spare.

Furthermore, check the size of your spare tire since some vehicles come with smaller ones meant for temporary use. Once you replace it, consult your instructions manual or the tire itself for maximum speed and pressure listings as these special tires aren't as rugged as the regular types. One last detail: do not attempt to change the tire unless you have reached level ground for such circumstances require skill and special equipment. There you have it, changing tires as easy as having breakfast at the local diner.


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