No matter what may cause a driver to be stranded on the side of the road, each time it happens it is a horrible feeling and every driver dreads it. It is even worse when the reason you are stranded could have been easily handled on your own, such as a flat tire. Knowing how to change a flat tire on your own can save you time and trouble, if you ever find yourself in this situation.
1-800-Charity Cars, America’s leading car donation charity, would like to provide you with the following step-by-step instructions on how to change a flat tire:
- Get your vehicle to the safest place possible, out of harm’s way and avoid hills.
- Turn on the hazard lights.
- Shut off the engine, set the emergency/parking brake and use any emergency devices you may have (signs, triangles, flares, etc.)
- Find the jack, tools, and spare tire. If you are unsure where the items are located, refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for their location.
- If you have a hubcap, you will need to use a screwdriver to remove it.
- Loosen the lug nuts with the tire iron/lug wrench slightly, one at a time in a counter clockwise direction.
- Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for correct positioning and instructions for using the jack.
- Jack up the vehicle about 6 inches off the ground, or whatever is needed so that the tire is not touching the ground and you can remove it easily.
- Remove the lug nuts with the tire iron/lug wrench, making sure to not lose them.
- Pull the flat tire straight off, towards you and set it to the side.
- Align your spare tire with the wheel bolts and slide it forward.
- Place your lug nuts on one at a time, turning them clockwise as tightly as you can with only your hand.
- Slowly lower your vehicle back down to the ground and then remove the jack.
- Take your tire iron/ lug nut wrench and fully tighten the lug nuts. Be sure to refer to the vehicle owner’s manual for the correct sequence to tighten your lug nuts, to ensure your tire mounts properly.
You now know how to change a flat tire! The only thing left to do is gather up all of your items and get back on the road. Keep in mind that if you are on a “donut” spare tire, you should get to a tire shop and get a full size replacement tire as soon as possible. This is because these “donut” tires are smaller and are not meant for long-term use. This is will preserve the functionality of the spare tire and is a good example of how a little maintenance can prolong the life of your vehicle.
If you have a vehicle you no longer need, consider donating your car to us. With your help, 1-800-Charity Cars can help to change the lives of someone in need of viable transportation. We accept all types of vehicles, running or not, across the entire United States. We offer free towing nationwide, and you will receive a full “fair market value” vehicle donation tax deduction, if we can provide your vehicle to a family in need.