Do you know how long it takes to change a tire? Most people believe it’s a laborious and daunting task, requiring lots of time and effort. But in reality, although the length of time it takes varies depending on the type of car you’re working on, having the right tools and comfort in the mechanical know-how process, you can be back on the road in no time. This blog will give you a detailed guide of the needed steps and tools you should know, so keep reading.
10 Easy Steps To Change A Tire
Changing a tire is no fun because you know the feeling of being stranded and helpless on the side of the road, but it’s a skill that you, as a motorist, should know for your convenience. Here are the 10 easy steps to help you out:
1. Make Sure You Are in a Safe Environment
Pull over as far to the side of the road as possible or find an open space to change your tire. Do not attempt to change a tire in a busy area with high-speed traffic, as this will put you and other drivers at risk. Make sure to turn your hazards on and set up flares in the back of your car for extra visibility. A warning triangle also helps other passing cars to be aware of your situation. This is also required by law in many countries, and neglecting it can lead to a fine.
Also, park your car on a level surface so it won’t suddenly move or roll when you are jacking it up. Make sure that your engine is off and the parking brake is on. You can also chock the wheels to prevent them from rolling. This will provide extra safety measures when you are working on the car.
2. Gather Your Tools
Preparing with the right tools will make changing a tire much easier and faster. Make sure you have tools with always for changing a tire, such as:
- Lug wrench/tire iron
- Spare tire
- Wheel wedges
- Tire pressure gauge
- Kneeling mat/pad for comfort
- Flashlight for better visibility
These tools will help you perform the job correctly and safely. You can put them all in one place or in the trunk of your car, ready to be used when needed.
3. Loosen the Lug Nuts
The lug nuts are located on the wheel you want to change, usually in a star pattern. With the lug wrench or tire iron, loosen the lug nuts by turning them counterclockwise. You don’t need to completely remove them. Just loosen them up because they will be easier to remove with the jack.
4. Jack Up the Vehicle
Now you can use the jack to lift your car. Place the jack near the tire that needs to be changed and make sure it is on a level and solid surface for extra safety. Jack up the car until the tire is off the ground, making sure that the jack is on a solid part of the car and not on something flimsy like plastic molding or sheet metal. You can check your car’s manual if you need help finding where to place the jack to get the right support.
5. Remove the Lug Nuts and Tire
Once your car is jacked up, you can remove the lug nuts completely. Keep them safe so they won’t get lost since you still need them to install the spare tire. Once the lug nuts are removed, you can set the flat tire aside.
6. Put on the New Tire
Take your new tire and align it with the wheel studs. Ensure the valve stem is facing you so it will be easier to inflate when needed. Place the tire onto the wheel studs and start putting on the lug nuts in a star pattern, ensuring they are tight.
7. Lower the Vehicle
You can lower the vehicle back to the ground when the lug nuts are safely tightened. Make sure to double-check that all of the lug nuts are tight and secure before continuing. The lug nuts should also be torqued in a star pattern to the manufacturer’s recommended specification for your car.
8. Check Tire Pressure and Inflate if Needed
Once the tire is back on the ground, you can check its pressure using a tire pressure gauge. You will need to inflate it to the recommended PSI (pounds per square) for your car’s make and model. You can find this information in the car’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door.
9. Test Drive the Car
Now you can take your car out for a test drive. Make sure to drive slowly and check any vibrations, steering responses, or other irregularities in your car’s performance. If there is anything unusual, you should check the tire pressure or retighten the lug nuts. This will ensure that everything is in perfect condition before continuing your journey.
10. Replace the Flat Tire
Once you have confirmed everything is working properly, you can go to the nearest tire shop and get a new tire or repair your flat tire. It is important to replace or repair your flat tire as soon as possible, so you can get back to driving your car safely. Your spare tire is only meant for temporary use and should not be used for a long period.
How To Know When It’s Time for a New Tire?
Drivers should check their vehicle’s tires regularly for wear and tear. Depending on the type of tire, different indicators show when it is time to replace them. For instance, all-season tires typically have tread wear indicator bars molded into the tread pattern at intervals around the tire’s circumference. When these bars become visible, the tire has reached its wear limit and needs to be replaced. On the other hand, performance tires contain a tread wear indicator in the shape of a little triangle sculpted into the bottom of their grooves. When this triangle is visible, it’s time to replace your tire.
Another way to tell if a tire needs to be replaced is by checking the tread depth with a penny. Insert the penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, the tire has less than 2/32″ of remaining tread depth and needs to be replaced. Conversely, if you can only see part of his head, the tire still has sufficient tread depth for safe use. Drivers should also check for uneven wear on their tires, which can indicate a wheel alignment issue or other problems.
Tires should also be inspected for signs of damage, such as cracks, cuts, or bulges in the sidewall. Any damage should be repaired or the tire replaced as soon as possible. You can ensure your safety on the road by routinely checking your tires and avoiding costly repairs down the line.
A tire plays a significant role in a car as it provides traction and stability. Without it or having a flat tire, you can no longer drive on the road. So, if you’re a car owner, learning how to change it is an essential skill that you should master for you to be more self-sufficient in case of an emergency. Now that you know the ins and outs of changing a tire, you’ll be able to do it like a pro in a short time, plus you’d save a dime for a tow truck. Remember to keep all the necessary tools in your trunk so you’re always prepared to operate it and return to the road immediately.