Being prepared to fix a flat tire is an important part of being a responsible driver. You should always have the proper tools on hand in case you have a blowout or flat. Take the correct safety precautions when prepping the car and getting ready to fix it. Then follow your car’s user manual to use the jack properly and take the old tire off. Finally, carefully put on your new tire and tighten down the lug nuts. While you should always maintain auto care coverage in case of emergencies, fixing a flat should be part of every drivers’ knowledge.
How to Fix a Flat Tire Easily and Safely: Be Prepared Beforehand
Prepare Ahead of Time
Before you ever need to fix a flat tire, you should have all the necessary tools on hand. Once you’ve got a flat, it’s too late to go out and get the equipment you need to fix it. So always have a kit in your car for changing a tire. Also, make sure that you always have a spare with you. Sometimes when you purchase cars from dealerships or used car stores they do not automatically include a spare. Sometimes spare tires are in unusual areas of the car, so check your manual for its location and the location of a jack if there is one.
Before you start to fix a flat tire, you need to make sure that your car is in a safe place. Always make sure that you’ve pulled well off the side of the road or into a parking lot before you exit your vehicle. If you have a blowout on the highway, try to get your car as far to the side as possible. Before you begin changing the tire, place something to brace another tire from moving. Wood or bricks work well for this or you can find wheel wedges. Place them behind and in front of one of the tires, you won’t be touching to make sure that your car can’t roll. Turn on your hazard lights so you’ll be very visible to other drivers.
Taking Off the Flat
It’s time to fix a flat tire! Consult your owner’s manual to see where you should position the jack. But often this will be under the body of the car just next to the flat tire wheel well. Stabilize it on the ground and slowly jack your car up so that there is less pressure on the tire. However, leave the tire on the ground. Next, remove your hubcap if you have one, and if not, begin loosening the lug nuts. You may have to use a lot of force or even step on your lug wrench in order to get them loose. Once you’ve done that, continue to jack the car up until the tire is about six inches off the ground. Remove the lug nuts the rest of the way and slide the tire off.
Putting on the New Tire
The next step to fix a flat tire is to put the spare or new tire on. Slide it into place and then replace the lug nuts. Tighten them by hand, and then slowly lower the jack until the tire is just resting on the ground. Now tighten the lug nuts as tightly as you can by putting your full weight on the wrench. Lower the car completely and remove the jack. Finally, tighten the lug nuts one more time and replace your hub cap. Pack up all your equipment and drive to an auto center to get your original tire fixed. If you put on a spare, you shouldn’t plan to drive with it very far as they are made for more temporary use. After a few miles, it’s a good idea to tighten your lug nuts one more time.
Trying to fix a flat tire can seem like a daunting process but it’s really not that hard if you’re prepared. Make sure before you leave on any sort of drive that you have all the equipment you’d need to change a tire just in case. Be cautious with where you change the tire, and make sure you’re in a safe area before attempting. Finally, carefully remove the damaged or flat tire by consulting your car’s manual and using a jack. Then you can replace it with the spare and take your old tire to be fixed or replaced with a more permanent new tire. With a little preparation and research, you’ll be prepared in case you ever have a flat tire.