As a car owner, you should have some basic knowledge about your car. On top of that if you have some basic maintenance knowledge then it would be beneficial for you. This is because you won’t need to go to the mechanic for every little niggling problem.
Going to the mechanic for minor problems is going to eat up your time and money for no good reason. Just a little elbow grease and dedication you can take care of most of these problems. One of the most basic things about a car that you should know is how to change a tire.
It is a simple process and you don’t need to have any prior technical knowledge or expertise for it. We here at AutopartsZ believe in providing any help we can so we created a step by step guide on changing a tire for you.
Here in the following passages, we will go through the requirements and steps for a tire change.
What You Need For A Tire Change
Your car’s tire can be flat anywhere. If you are relying on your cell phone service to get you out of a jam then think about what you will do if you see there is no cell service? Or you were in a hurry and you forgot to charge your phone and it’s now dead?
These things happen and this is why it is imperative that you learn how to change a tire. It’s no big deal, trust me! The basic tools needed for a tire change can be found in an average home and some usually come with the car itself.
Things like Jack, Lug wrench, Fully inflated spare tire/tires, Vehicle owner’s manual is usually there when you buy a car. On top of that, there are a few other things that you will need. Things like Flashlight with working batteries, Rain poncho, Small cut of 2"x6” wood to secure the jack, Gloves, and Wheel wedges are all important aspects of the tire changing process.
If you see that you don’t have any of these items here then make sure you get them. These items can be found in your local hardware store so don’t worry and they inexpensive as well.
Tire Changing process
Once you see that you have everything you need it’s time to dive into the tire changing process itself. So without any delay let’s see what it’s about:
So you are driving and you suddenly realize that you have a flat tire. What do you do? Well, you don’t hit the brakes immediately. While driving with a flat tire can be harmful to the car rim but rims can be changed by hand but braking in the middle of the road can lead to fatalities.
So what you should do is slowly reduce the speed and look for a safe place. Anything that has a straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder is good enough. Parking lots are even better but you may not always be near one.
One thing you should remember is never to stop on a narrow shoulder or curved road. This is because of oncoming might not be able to see you and run into you. Make sure that the place you stop at is flat and even so that there is no risk of your car rolling away as well.
While the general process is the same but before you go into changing the tires you should consult the owner’s manual for specific details for your model.
If you have stopped on the road then don’t forget to turn on your flasher or hazard lights. This is to signal the oncoming drivers that there is someone there and avoid any risk of an accident.
Whenever you are getting ready to start working on your car you should check if you have the parking brakes applied or not. If not then you should as this will lower the risk of your car rolling.
This is to further ensure that the car doesn’t roll away. The wheel wedges are placed on the wheel to stop it from rolling as you have guessed already.
When working on the rear wheel you should place them on the front wheel and vice versa. If you don’t have wheel wedges then its ok anything large sturdy like bricks can work just as well. But it has to be large enough to stop the car and be able to take its load.
Hubcap Or Wheel Cover Removal
The lug nuts of the wheels are usually covered by the hubcap or wheel cover. Don’t worry you can easily get to the lug nuts. Just simply use the flat side of the lug wrench and pry open the hubcap.
If this doesn’t work then consult the owner’s manual as there are cars with different requirements for hubcap removal. It should be detailed in your owner’s manual.
Loosening The Lug Nuts
Once you have the hubcap open you will see the lug nuts. Take your lug wrench and set it on the lug nuts.
After that, give the nuts half or a quarter turn to loosen them up from their grip. You should know that you may have to use a bit of strength to do this. Use your feet or entire body if necessary but make sure they are loose only and do not remove them.
Jacking Up The Vehicle
The jack is usually set up beneath the car’s frame on the side which has the flat tire. You will see that there are many cars with plastic frames but has a specific space where the internal metal body is exposed that has been done specifically for jacks.
Your car’s owner manual should be consulted before you set up the jack as it has detail information on how to do it without damaging the car.
Raising The Vehicle
Before you place the jack under the wheel to raise it you need to place the small cut of 2x6” wood and place it underneath the jack. This will ensure that the jack doesn’t buckle and come off balance.
This technique is especially helpful if you are doing this on asphalt. So once you place the piece wood and set up the jack raises the wheel six inches above the ground. Remember never put any part of your body under the car when raising the vehicle for obvious safety reasons.
Lug Nut Removal
Once raised you can now remove the lug nuts from the vehicle using the wrench or by hand since you have loosened them up previously.
Now that the lug nuts are off you can simply pull the tire towards and it will come off the hub. Set the tire on the side so that it doesn’t roll away from you.
Mounting The Spare Tire
Take the spare tire and then place it on the hub. Once you do that you simply push the tire till the lug bolts show through the rim.
Placing The Lug Nuts Back On
When the spare tire has been set you should take the lug nuts and start screwing them on by hand.
You don’t have to completely tighten them just enough to hold properly in place while you finish up the process.
Lowering The Vehicle
Once you are done with attaching the lug nuts by hand lower your car but make sure that tire touches the ground but the weight of the car isn’t on the tire fully.
Once you have lowered take the lug wrench and using your full body weight turn the lug nuts clockwise to ensure that it has been perfectly tightened.
Putting The Vehicle Down Completely
Now you can set the car completely down. Once the vehicle is completely resting on its wheels pull the lug nuts to give them a final check.
Placing The hubcap Back On
Now that you are done with the removal you can reverse the hubcap removal step to re-install it on the wheel. If it doesn’t fit just put it in the back of the car and don’t throw it away.
Putting All The Equipment In The Car
Check all the equipment, see if you have the jack, a lug wrench, wheel wedges, your flat tire, and possibly a hubcap. Make sure that you store them in the trunk of the car for future-readiness.
Checking Tire Pressure
Check if the spare tire that you installed has the optimum pressure because you don’t want any accidents to occur in the middle.
Consult A Technician
Spare tires aren’t made for all-purpose long-distance traveling. This is why you should consult a technician about your car tire. They will let you know if you need to change the tire or replace them.
Be Road ready
Well, there you go, the simple step by step guide on how to change a tire. This process goes for all types of tire change. From truck tires to car tires to snow tires to off-road mud tires it doesn’t matter you can use this basic process to do them all.
Now that you know how to change car tires you can simply change the tire at home or road whenever you need it. But remember you need to check if you need to replace the tires. You can check out our blog on signs that you need to find new tires to see if your tires need replacing.
If you have a truck and you are looking for new tires then you can also check out our blog on finding new tires for your truck. You can also check out the AutopartsZ app which is right now one of the best tire finder apps on the market.
Now with that being said, I draw the curtains right here. Let us know in the comments below your thoughts and suggestions on the topic and send us your ideas on what we should cover next.
We eagerly wait for your response, this allows us to better understand and tailor the content to your demands. Till next time, Seeya!