The tires on your automobile are really amazing things. You would be surprised by the random number of nasty things you run over, and still, your tires keep on rolling. You’re driving over jagged rocks, bits of metal debris, potholes, and so much more, and by and large most people drive over this stuff just fine. Every once in a while, however, those tires will start to go flat or just outright have a blowout. Now is when you will need to change your car tire/ boat trailer tire to keep on driving, and people need to know how to do that.
Before we get into this, we want you to know that every single car or truck on the road should have a hydraulic lift (jack) to lift the car, a lug wrench, and a spare tire that fits the wheel correctly. You need these three things at all times because you never know when you’ll need a tire change. So it’s important to be prepared.
Steps to Changing a Tire
Find a Flat Surface
If you have a flat tire and need to change it out, you’ll have to risk driving on your rim until you reach a flat, level surface. Hopefully, you won’t have to go far, but you cannot change a tire on an incline. You can seriously harm yourself and other people. So, find a flat surface. Drive there very, very slowly, until which point you’re on a level surface where you know your car isn’t going to start rolling when it’s up in the air. Hopefully, you’re close enough to the shoulder of a road or a nearby parking lot and won’t have to worry about finding a special place far away to get this done.
Park the Car/Parking Brake
Next up, you want to put on your parking brake, if you’re driving a manual, or place your car in park if it’s automatic. This step should more than suffice to keep it from rolling. Though, if you’re driving anything bigger than a basic sedan, you might want to also include wheel chocks in your tire change kit. This step will ensure that the wheels won’t skip out and roll. Even if it moves a few inches, this can still be dangerous, and the automobile can collapse down off the jack and seriously injure someone.
Find the Frame with Your Lift
Get your jack out. On top of all jacks should be a roughly flat piece of metal, opposite of the handle. You want to prop this piece of metal under the frame of your vehicle. If you try to jack up your car from its bumper, bottom of the doors, or other body parts, it’s going to result in disaster. So find yourself a good, solid piece of the frame. Don’t worry too much about finding it; most of the bottom of the car is the frame, so you should be able to find a solid piece of the frame only a few inches in from the doors, about in the center of your car. Go a little off-center, more toward the side where you need the tire changed out, and make sure everything’s level before you begin jacking the car up. Before you jack the car up, however, go ahead and get those lug nuts loosened with that wrench you’re packing in the trunk.
Change Your Tire
As soon as the tire is up off the ground enough for you to move it, you can begin taking it off. Finish loosening up the lug nuts, and make sure you keep careful track of them when you take them off. Gently remove the tire from its hub, and roll it easily toward the trunk. Make sure you place your tire securely in the trunk. You don’t want it to start going down the road and endangering other drivers. Now, gently place the spare on and tighten up the lugs. After this, you can simply and easily lower your car back down, and that completes your job. Except, just be aware that spare tires are not permanent. One of your first destinations should now be going somewhere to get a permanent wheel placed back on your vehicle. The longer you drive around with a spare, the more you are at risk of blowing that one too, then there’s nothing much to be done except for calling in a tow truck.
What to Look for
After your tire is changed, you can also take some time to look around at a few things. For instance, start by looking at how your tire went flat. Unfortunately, a lot of people may find that their tires were balding, lacking a lot of tread, or that they had sidewall cracks in them that got pretty bad. The bad thing about this is that once people start looking at their other tires, they find that things are matching, which just means it’s a matter of time before those other tires pop and go flat as well. So you definitely want to take the time here to examine what caused the tire to go flat, and make sure history isn’t going to repeat itself the next day with another tire. You’re already on the side of the road or in a parking lot somewhere, so take the extra few minutes.
This incident may also be a wakeup call to take tire maintenance a lot more seriously. You may want to start checking your tires regularly, by using pressure gauges and ensuring that they’re not developing cracks, bubbles or serious signs of wear.
The good news here is that it’s effortless and affordable to get a brand new set of tires for any automobile you drive. Just contact a trusted local tire company, and let them set you up with tires that are guaranteed to last. The last thing you want is for one of the other three tires to blow out on you as you’re driving down the highway.