Changing Car Tires

If you don’t know how to change a car tire, then this article is for you. If you do, don’t take this personally, but a few pointers might still prove useful. This is because there are a number of small things mechanics recommend when changing a tire, and many people simply don’t know what they are. Many are safety related so take it from our friends at invest 5 minutes and read on!

The Tools

All vehicles come with the necessary tools you need to change a tire but, if you are driving and older car, its worth double checking to make sure they are there. You want to find a jack, a lug wrench, and the all important replacement tire. Additionally wheel wedges, gloves, and a scrap piece of 2×4 wood are also good accessories to have.

The Procedure

– First, park in a flat, paved area. If you can, make sure the spot is well lit, especially at night. After finding the best spot, stop the car, turn it off and engage the parking brake. Apply the wheel wedges to the pair of tires you won’t be changing. For example, if changing a rear tire, apply them to both front wheels. These wedges will prevent your car from rolling.

– Next, with the flat end of your lug wrench and loosen all of the lug nuts about a half of a turn. These tend to be well tighened, so extra force is normal to break them free.

– The jack should then be placed under the vehicle on top the scrap wood, right beneath the frame alongside the tire you’re changing. Your car’s owners manual will illustrate this. While raising your jack, the scrap wood is going to help provide a firm surface on the ground compared to plain asphalt, preventing your vehicle from sliding going off balance. Note that car manufacturers almost always build a special spot under the car for using the jack on.

– Once everything is secure, start jacking the car up. You’re aiming to raise the tire about six inches up from the ground.

– Once the car is in the air, fully free the lug nuts and place them in a safe place while you remove the tire. Be careful to set the tire on its side so it doesn’t roll away.

– Mount the new tire and push until the lug bolts show through the rim, then tighten the lug nuts on by hand. You’ll firmly secure them in place with the lug wrench once you’ve slightly lowered the vehicle so the tire has some friction against the ground. This prevents the wheel from turning as you tighten the nuts into place.

– Last step is to set the car’s full weight down, tighten the lug nuts and replace the hub cap!

Congratulations, you have successfully changed your car’s tire!