The last thing anyone wants is to hear that dreaded pop while going down the highway and realizing that you don't have the first idea of how to change a flat tire. Lucky for you, the concept of changing a tire is relatively the same no matter the vehicle, but here are some hints and tricks to help you get a hang of this - at times - frustrating experience.
- Start by reading your owner's manual for a brief description on how to change your tire on your car. It should tell you the location of your spare and how to install it as well as tell you about the type jack and tire changing tools you have in the car. The manual may also show you a diagram of how they are to be used. Here is a great tip: Read the owner's manual before you have to change a flat tire, or take a look at at your insurance policy and find one that offers roadside assistance so that someone can do it for you.
- If you get a flat while driving try to get the vehicle to a place where it is on level ground and away from oncoming traffic. If there is no way get the car on an asphalt or concrete surface, then make sure the ground underneath the vehicle is firm and not soft so that your jack does not sink or slide off while you are working.
- Next, place the jack under a spot on the undercarriage that is part of the frame and not the chassis. The frame is stronger and will not give or bend like chassis. Again, refer to your owner's manual to locate the best spot for placing the jack.
- Pry off the hubcap if necessary and then remove the lug bolts off the wheel with the wrench, which sometimes require a lot of torque to remove.
- Remove the flat and replace with the spare tire. Screw on the lug bolts and tighten well.
- Finally, remove the jack and return it to the compartment where it belongs. Now you are on your way and ready to go to the nearest shop and get a proper tire put back on! Your new tire probably won't be covered by an extended warranty, but at least your vacation will be back on track.