Learning how to change a tire can be a very rewarding experience. Instead of sitting along the side of the road waiting for AAA to show up and save the day, you could be finding a solution to your own problem. You will be back on the road much more quickly than if you were to wait for a car service. Changing a tire is simple.
Any man or woman, regardless of their size, can easily manage to change a tire themselves. Sometimes modern conveniences like AAA can leave you waiting along the side of the road for extended periods of time. It is not safe to be in a broken down vehicle on the road, especially at night. Prevent this problem from ever happening to you by learning how to change a tire from the helpful tips below.
1. Gather Your Tools – There are a few simple tools that are required to successfully change a tire. You will need a four way lug wrench, a car or truck jack, and a new tire to replace the flat one. You should always keep these items in your vehicle. You never plan to have a flat, but it is best to always be prepared for one.
2. Loosen the Lug Nuts – You should loosen the lug nuts on the vehicle before you begin to jack it up in the air. Do not take the lug nuts completely off. Start by loosening the top lug nut first.
3. Place Your Jack – The placement of the jack while changing a tire is very important. You do not want to put yourself at risk for the vehicle crashing down while you are working on it. You could be injured and your car or truck could be seriously damaged. The jack should be placed on level ground. It should be placed where the jack will meet the car on the metal plate that can be located behind the tire. Slowly jack up the vehicle. You can stop raising the jack when the tire is high enough off of the ground to be removed.
4. Remove the Lug Nuts – Now you can remove the lug nuts. It is best to start with the top lug nut and then move to the bottom one. From there you should remove the lug nut that is placed diagonally from the one you just removed. Be sure to keep track of your lug nuts. If you lose one you will find yourself in a whole different type of situation.
5. Remove the Tire – Removing the tire is easy. Simply slip it off and put it aside.
6. Put on the New Tire – Putting on the new tire is just as simple as taking off the old one. All you need to do is slip the new tire on.
7. Put on the Lug Nuts – You should put the lug nuts back on loosely while the car or truck is still jacked up in the air. Screwing them on by hand will do the trick.
8. Release the Jack – Release the jack slowly to the ground. Do not release the jack too quickly or you could end up damaging your vehicle. Take the jack out of underneath of your vehicle and place it aside.
9. Tighten the Lug Nuts – Use the four way lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts on the tire. You should put the bottom and top lug nuts on first and then put continue with the lug nut that is diagonal to the one you just put on. Do not forget to put the hub cap back on! These instructions can be followed on any vehicle, from Volkswagens to Chevys!
Hank Pook collects Volkswagen alternators and works as a freelance writer and designer. He loves old cars, old books, and fine wine. He is happily married with two grown children.