How to change a flat tireSeptember 21, 2011 | in Defensive Driving Online
A flat tire can happen to any driver anywhere at any time; and while it’s never an ideal situation, preparing yourself with the proper tools and knowledge can help you handle it appropriately.
To ensure that you’ll have everything you need in the event of a flat tire, the Defensive Driving team recommends you keep the following items in your car:
• the owner’s manual for your vehicle, which you should consult before attempting to change a tire
• an inflated spare tire
• a car jack
• a lug wrench or tire iron
• bracing material (for example, a brick or a piece of wood)
Now, on to the how-to process:
- Once you realize you have a flat tire, turn on your hazard lights and pull over immediately. Park on a solid, level surface a safe distance from the road and set the parking brake. *Do not attempt to change a flat tire on the road if it is not safe*
- Block the tire (with your bracing material) that is diagonally across from the flat tire to keep the vehicle from rolling. Place your bracing materials in front of and behind the tire.
- Locate and remove your spare tire, jack and lug wrench or tire iron.
- Remove the hubcap so you have access to the lug nuts. Break loose the lug nuts by turning them counter clockwise. Do not remove the lug nuts until the vehicle is raised.
- Consult your owner’s manual to locate the best place to put the jack under your car.
- Jack up the car until the tire clears the road surface.
- Remove the lug nuts, then remove the flat tire and set it aside.
- Put the spare tire on and reinstall the lug nuts, tightening them just slightly. Make sure the wheel is sitting flush against the brake hub.
- Lower the car to the ground using the car jack.
- Finish tightening the lug nuts and reinstall the hubcap.
- Put away your flat tire and tools and continue to your final destination (which hopefully will be the nearest service station!).