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How To Change A Car Tire

The need to change a car tire can happen anywhere at anytime. With punctures and flats it usually happens at the most inopportune moment in the most inconvenient place, like a city traffic snarl – in pouring rain. Eventually it will happen to almost everyone. You’re driving down the road in the middle of nowhere and you get a flat tire. You’re driving along with your mind on the important meeting agenda, and suddenly your car pulls to one side and you hear that dreaded flapping sound of a flat tire.

Without the proper knowledge and tools this could turn into something much worse than it really is. It is very important for your safety and the safety of others that you know how to properly change a flat tire. Sooner or later, it’s bound to happen to most everyone. Because it’s a fairly common occurrence, car manufacturers have tried to make the tire change process one that virtually anyone can do. You don’t have to be a muscular mechanic with specialized tools to get yourself back on the road in no time.

Nowadays, many drivers have roadside assistance services with companies that will come to you and fix your flat tires, but it’s always smart to know how to change a flat yourself, just in case you aren’t able to reach anyone on your cell phone or you’re in a hurry and can’t wait for the help to arrive. If you’re getting ready to embark on a road trip, it’s a good idea to get your car serviced. Part of the checkup should include a look at the tires. Look for any unevenly worn spots, or skimpy tread. If the tires are iffy, invest in new ones.

You’ll need them eventually anyway, and it’s better to start out on a trip with new tires than have a blow-out in the middle of nowhere. Even if you’re not heading on a trip, you should familiarize yourself with the tools you’ll use in the event of a flat tire. Most cars come equipped with a simple jack and lug wrench, as well as a spare tire. Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to access these items. Pull out the jack and the tire, and make sure the tire is in good shape. If your spare is flat, get it fixed.

It only takes a few minutes to make sure you have all the tools, and you’ll save yourself a big headache later if you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat. The first thing to do if you feel that you have a flat is to find a safe spot to pull over. If you’re on the freeway, pull over as far onto the shoulder as you can. Don’t park in the middle of a curve, where approaching cars can’t see you from far away. Also choose a flat spot; jacking up your car on a hill can be a disaster. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Be sure to set your parking brake!

Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don’t remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. You can also try hitting the wrench arm with a rock. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground.

Different car models may have different places to put the jack; consult your owner’s manual for specific locations. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about six inches off the ground. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won’t get scattered, and pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base. Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can’t go any farther.

Put on the lug nuts. Don’t put them on tightly, just make sure they’re on enough for the spare to stay on the car for a moment. Lower the car back to the ground. Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level. Remove the jack from underneath the car. Make sure the lug nuts are tightened. With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount.

Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be. Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk. Make sure you don’t leave anything on the side of the road. Once in a while, a tire isn’t completely destroyed when it goes flat. If the flat is caused by a nail or other sharp object, and you can’t or don’t want to change your tire on the side of the road, you may be able to give yourself a few miles of leeway by using a flat-fix spray. Simply follow the manufacturer’s directions.

In ideal situations, the spray foam will allow you to at least find a close off-ramp and pull into a service station or a rest stop before you have to change your tire. Finally, in an effort to avoid a flat tire on the road, check all of your car’s tires once a month or whenever they look low. Visually inspect your tires. Look for any bubbles, cracks, deep cuts or under inflation. Look for uneven tread wear on your tires, this may be an indication that you need a front-end alignment or the tires are out of balance Low tire pressure can lower your gas mileage, make your car handle poorly and even lead to blowouts.

You can’t tell whether a tire has the correct air pressure just by looking at it. Always use a tire-pressure gauge. You can buy a good-quality tire-pressure gauge at your local auto-parts store. If you don’t have one, the pressurized-air machines at many gas stations and garages have gauges.

Works Cited

http://mt. essortment. com/checktirepress_reot. htm. www. nhtsa. dot. gov/cars/rules/TireSafety/ridesonit/brochure. html www. ehow. com/how_1863_change-flat-tire. html www. edmunds. com/ownership/howto/articles www. misterfixit. com/flattire. htm

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