Have a Flat tire? Apt Tips for Tire Changing
Basic mechanic skills are an important must-have for all drivers. You can’t just go to an auto repair shop and have them fix everything for you – that would be downright expensive. Besides, not all automobile problems need a professional mechanic, take for example changing a flat tire. This is no rocket science, and takes only a few practices to master. However, be sure to read your car manufacturer’s owner’s manual first, as tips and instructions about changing a flat tire will be likely to be mentioned there. Once you find it, be sure to follow the suggestions in the manual.
Tools Needed to Change a Flat Tire
Once you’ve gone over the manual (which should take a few minutes or so), then you’ll need to gather the tools that you will need. You should also make it a practice to keep these tools in your car’s trunk, just in case you get a flat in the middle of nowhere. So here’s a short list:
- A scissor jack to lift the car
- A lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts
- A spare tire
Other things you may need:
- A raincoat (for when it rains)
- A flashlight (if the unfortunate happens at night)
Once you’ve gathered your tools, it’s time to get to work.
Tire Changing Tips
- Find a flat surface to park your car before changing the tires. Make sure that you have a lot of space to work on as well.
- If you happen to find yourself on a hill, don’t stop just yet. You should still be able to drive the car for a few more meters until you reach the lower end of the hill. If you were heading upwards, back down your car until you get back to level ground.
- Don’t forget to hit the handbrake. Seriously.
- Be sure that your jack is levelled and stable as well – you don’t want that to tip over while you’re working.
- After you’ve replaced the tires, return the nuts and tighten them with your hands first, then tighten them further with your wrench (don’t use too much force or you’ll tip the jack). Once your car is on the ground, tighten them again with more force for good measure.
- Finally, check the tire pressure and make sure that it is according to manufacturer’s instructions (some manufacturer’s recommend staggered air pressures for front and rear tires.)
Even though you think you’ve done a great job with your tires, you may want still need to visit a repair shop just to make sure you did it right. Better safe than sorry, right?