Whether punctured or worn-out, it’s simpler than you think to change tires. Here are the 6 easy steps to changing a car tire that your mechanic never told you.
Why change a tire?
When you think of an impromptu tire change, it usually brings up images of beingstrandedroadside with a flat. Flat tires are often caused by a puncture or by a bad shock to the tire. Unfortunately, getting a flat is a rite of passage for most car owners.
Punctures aren’t the only reason you need to change a car tire. In most cases, it’s just normal wear and tear. Normal wear becomes apparent when the depth between the tread grooves becomes shallow. If you notice the tire sidewall has a defect, such as a bulge, it’s a sign the tire is damaged. If this is the case, it is better to replace it.
You never know when you’ll need to change a car tire. That is why it is a good idea to have these items in your car at all times.
- Car jack: The jack is a tool you place near the wheel. It’s cranked by hand to lift the car slightly to allow for clearance to change the tire.
- Tire wrench: This second tool is used to unbolt the damaged tire, and then to securely tighten the replacement. It usually comes with a car and you won’t need to purchase one.
- Spare tire: It is necessary to have a spare tire in your car trunk at all times. It would be very problematic to get a flat tire outside of the city without a spare tire in tow. It’s also good to regularly check tire pressure in the spare. It’s useless without air in it.
Beyond these tools, you should also keep a flashlight, a poncho and some reflective warning triangles in case you need to change a tire at night or in the rain along the highway.
The 6 easy steps to change a car tire
- Pull the vehicle over to a safe and flat surface. Secure the car byputting it into “Park” andpulling the parking brake. For a manual-transmission vehicle, put the car in gear and apply the parking brake.
- Place the jack under the car frame. Make sure it is perpendicular to the ground. Next, crank the jack until you have lifted the tire high enough so that it no longer bears the weight of the car, but still touches the ground.
- Remove the hubcap. Then, unbolt the wheel to change, and lift the jack again. This time, lift the car until the tire is completely off the ground so you can remove the damaged tire.
- Replace the damaged tire with a new one. Then tighten the bolts by hand.
- Lower the jack until the tire touches the ground.At this point the new tire should not be bearing the weight of the vehicle.
- Finish tightening the bolts with the wrench. Remove the jack from under the vehicle.
If you had to replace the damaged tire with a high-pressure spare, install a new regular tire as soon as possible. Spare tires are a last resort meant to assist during a breakdown, and therefore don’t have the service life of an ordinary tire.