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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Changing Your Tire
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Monday, October 3,2011

Changing Your Tire

By Teresa Aquila  
It always amazes me just how many drivers young or old have never learned how to change a tire. With all that is happening today and how fast you can be in contact with someone, it always appears that you blow a tire either in an out of the way area or just your luck, no cell service. I have taught many students that changing a tire is not rocket science. I would recommend trying to change your tire before you have a flat so that you are familiar with the process and precautions as well as the tools needed. The most important is to make sure your spare is inflated or you have a can of Spare tire air you can buy at your local auto parts store.

First off, make sure the brake is on. If on a hill you need to block either the front or the rear depending on which end has the flat. This will keep the vehicle from rolling once you lift it which could cause harm to others or yourself if it was began to roll. Remember, SAFETY FIRST. Remove the spare tire, jack and jack handle. Again, check the tire to make sure it has air 2 flats would not be wise. Place the jack under the vehicle as indicated in your owners manual or near the spare tire. Loosen the lug nut prior to lifting the car to keep the wheel from spinning. I had one student state that she was not strong enough to do the job. After showing her my helper, a 3 foot pipe 1 inch in diameter and placed it over the jack handle to add leverage, she had those lug nuts off in a jiffy. Do not remove them all the way, just loosen them slightly. Then jack up the vehicle and finish removing the lug nuts and tire. Install the spare in the same order. Place the lug nuts onto the lugs, tighten as far as you can until the tire begins to spin, lower the vehicle just enough to add pressure against the ground to the tire and finish tightening the lugs nuts. Using the pipe will give you some good torque. Having your wheel fall off would not be a pretty sight. Practicing this at home or having an experienced mechanic help you to become comfortable with the process is recommended. If this is not done correctly injury can occur. Or just calling the Road Side Service could get you up and traveling sooner.


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