Never changed a tire? Don’t worry – this sponsored post will talk you through the process step-by-step!
We’ve all been there before…driving along without a care in the world, and pop! All of a sudden the vehicle is leaning to the side with an awful grinding noise – that can’t be good. So you pull your car over on the shoulder or in a parking lot and find out the worst, a flat tire.
What do you do?! There are a few options available, such as calling a tow truck or roadside assistance, but what if you would rather save a few bucks and get yourself back on the road quickly?
Here is a list of steps that will help get you back to driving easily and save a few dollars while you are at it…not to mention giving yourself a boost of self confidence from accomplishing it on your own.
Find a location that is safe for both you and your vehicle while you work. If you can easily turn into a parking lot and off the road, go for it. A shoulder is satisfactory but can be risky if the road is busy. Also make sure your spot is level, you don’t want to risk a rollover or unstable footing for the jack.
Turn on the hazard lights for your vehicle. You want to make sure other drivers know you are having issues with your vehicle and not driving normally, so that others can give you adequate space while you work.
Apply the parking brake. This helps ensure the vehicle stability and holds the wheels firm while you work.
Retrieve your tools from the vehicle. You should have a jack and wrench with you at all times.
Remove the hubcap from your flat (if you have one). Then loosen the lug nuts from the wheel while its still on the ground. You might have to exert some force to do so, using your weight as leverage.
Take the jack and place it under the vehicle in a specified space. Typically the jack has instructions for a designated space near each tire specified by the manufacturer, be sure to find the space. You don’t want to miscalculate and have the jack slip, or damage the vehicle further.
Raise the vehicle enough that the tire will be clear from the road completely. You will also need enough space so that the spare tire will freely be placed on your vehicle. Typically 6 inches is more than enough to clear.
Now that the tire is suspended, unscrew the lug nuts completely and remove the flat tire. Lay it down on its side, flat, so that it won’t roll away.
Remove the spare tire from its storage space in the vehicle and carefully roll it over to the space needed. Lift it onto the hub, making sure the lug bolts are lining up through the rim.
One at a time, put the lug nuts back on the bolts. Work in a star pattern, rather than just clockwise, to help easily tighten them. After tightening by hand, use the wrench to ensure they are secure to the vehicle.
Lower your vehicle using the jack, and remove it from under the vehicle. Once its back solid on the ground, use your weight to tighten the nuts again with the wrench.
Replace your hubcap (if you have one), and place all the tools used back in their designated spaces inside your vehicle. Also store the flat tire in the trunk, making sure to be careful not to injure yourself if the tire has exposed metal etc. Also check the pressure on the spare you just installed if you have a tire gauge.
Drive immediately to your mechanic or service technician. Hopefully the flat can be repaired, but driving on a spare is not a permanent solution. What happens if you end up with another flat and already are using the spare?
One option is driving it straight to your dealership, such as the Waldorf Dodge Ram dealership in Waldorf MD. They will gladly help inspect your tire and get you back on the road driving again.