At one point or another, we’ve all been there. You’re stuck by the side of the road with a flat tire, and you have to change it yourself to get home. You don’t want to call roadside services because you don’t want to wait or spend money on something as easy as changing a flat(and any real man should know how to change a flat tire), but you’re slightly worried because you’ve never changed a tire before. Don’t worry, because we’re here to help. This article highlights the exact steps you need to take in order to change a flat quickly and safely.
Items you’ll need
Changing a tire is relatively easy, but you do need a few tools to get the job done:
- Compact, does not take up much of your cars storage space
- 4 Ton capacity means it should easily lift most passenger vehicles out there
- Custom plastic carry case makes for safe storage and not rolling around
- Telescoping handle offers more leverage for stubborn lug nuts
- Storage pouch keeps it tidy and prevents loss of sockets
- Takes up less storage space that conventional cross wrench
So easy to use and handy, we cannot believe that car manufacturers do not include one of these in all cars as standard.
A spare tire, and optionally, the owner’s manual both of which should already hopefully be inside your car. If you’re reading this at home and not on the side of the road somewhere, also pack the following in the trunk of your car, because you never know where you’re going to get a flat or whether it’s going to be sunny or not.
- Trek-Dry fabric providing cool comfort and protection
- Hook n Loop enclosure on the wrist ensures gloves stay on
- Very handy for many tasks, so always keep a pair in the car
- Hands will be clean after changing the tire so will not mess up your interior or steering wheel
World-famous and popular for a reason. Save your hands, you are gonna need them.
- Super bright, forget your old dependable D-cell, this beats it
- Tactical bezel for self-defence and protection
- Magnetic charging USB cable so you can always keep it charged and ready in your car
- Tail-clicking button, for tactical grip
- Storage pouch to protect the flashlight
This multi-purpose flashlight, should in any case always be in every one of your vehicles.
- Light fabric
- OD color means it will work for camouflage or in the bush as well
- Folds up small
- Storage pouch
We could not even count the number of times us or friends have been caught in the rain without a raincoat before we started keeping on of these in our cars. Changing a flat on the side of the road sucks, doing so whilst getting soaked in the rain, is much worse.
Changing a flat tire
The most important thing you can do when you realize you have a flat tire is pull over somewhere safe. Slowly reduce your speed and find a suitable location where you can pull over. A straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder works best because other drivers can spot you from far away and safely avoid you. An empty parking lot is obviously ideal, but since this is the real world, you’re probably not going to be that lucky. If you can, park on level ground and not on an incline or a decline to stop the car from rolling away. Avoid stopping on sharp bends too.
Next, you’ll want to turn on the hazard lights and apply the parking brake. If you have wheel wedges, now’s the time to apply them. If not, find a rock or a piece of wood big enough to wedge underneath one of the wheels to make sure the car can’t roll back. If your car has hubcaps or wheel covers, now’s the time to remove them and expose the lug nuts. Your specific car’s manual might help you with this further.
Once you’ve done all of that, take the lug wrench and turn the lug nuts counterclockwise. Loosen them up a bit, but don’t completely take them out just yet. Use your foot to apply pressure, completely standing on top of the wrench if necessary. Next, place the jack underneath the car and start lifting the vehicle up. Again, if you have a manual, find the section referencing where you should place the jack stand for your particular model.
Once you have the car in the air, remove the lug nuts completely and take off the flat tire afterwards. You can now mount the spare tire on and subsequently put the same lug bolts back on. Tighten them by hand and lower the car to the ground. Don’t worry, the wheel’s not going to come off. Tightening them by hand as much as possible is enough to keep the wheel in place.
Once you have the car lowered, use the wrench to tighten the nuts as much as possible. If you have aluminum wheels, you’ll have to take care not to over-tighten the nuts as that might damage the wheel, but again, this is where the manual comes in handy. For general purposes and getting home or to a workshop, tighten the nuts hard so as not to lose the wheel when driving.
That’s it! Congratulations, you’ve just changed a flat tire and can safely get home. Stow all equipment and away you go.
Be sure to stop at the nearest service station you find, and ensure that the air pressure is correct and has not dropped from not using it for such a long time.
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