Tire Changing 101

Whether you are a man or a woman, if you drive a car or truck you should know how to perform basic roadside emergency procedures such as changing a tire. Knowing how to complete this easy do-it-yourself repair could save you from being stranded for hours beside the side of the road at some point. Below are some fundamental instructions for changing a tire.


Know where your Equipment is

Most cars come with a jack, tire iron of some type, and a spare of some kind. But, not all car manufacturers place these items in the same place. Some place these items in the trunk, while other manufacturers locate them underneath the vehicle, or even under the hood. It is best to know where your emergency equipment is before you actually need it and are searching for it while stranded on a dark road some place.


What kind of Emergency Equipment Should you Carry in your Vehicle?

In addition to carrying a jack, tire iron/lug wrench, and spare tire in your car, you should keep in your car at all times a roadside emergency kit that includes; a flash light (preferable a magnetic, or free standing one for hands free use), WD-40 or some other type of lubricant, jumper cables, flares, a wrench and screwdriver, emergency medical supplies, and wheel blocks. For changing your tire you will need the lug wrench/tire iron, wheel blocks, spare tire, jack, and if it is night time the flash light and flares from your kit.


Where to Begin

The first thing you want to do is, if it is night time deploy the flares behind and in front of your vehicle and position the flash light in a place that gives you enough light to work by. After you have done this or if it is day time, you will need to position the jack in a stable position, and place the wheel blocks behind and in front of one of the stationary tires that will not be lifted off of the ground. This is to keep the car from rolling off of the jack or on top of you if the jack falls while you are changing the tire. Don’t jack the car up yet though.


Completing the Repair

Pump the jack up just enough to stabilize it into place, but not lift the vehicle yet. Once you have done this then you need to remove the lug nuts. Most tire irons have a lug wrench that is specifically for that car built onto one end of the tire iron. Depending on where you had your tires installed and how long the tire has been in place the nuts may not want to come off. If so spray a little lubricant onto the stubborn lug nut and rub it into any visible threads to help loosen the connection. After the lug nuts have been removed, you can now jack the car up the rest of the way (just high enough to remove the tire) and remove the tire. After the tire is removed, just put the new tire on, screw the lug nuts back on making sure they are tightly secure, but not so tight as to strip the bolt, and lower the car back to the ground.

Voila! You have just changed your tire. You can now clean up your equipment and used tire, and be on your way.