Do you have what it takes to survive if your on the road and the world goes to the pits? When you feel the car lurching to one side and a thumping noise emanating from a wheel, you've got a flat tire. Do you know how to fix it? Depending on where you are on the road, you must quickly find a safe place to stop before your wheel becomes damaged from the weight of the car pressing down on it. Where do you go from there? Fixing a flat tire is not difficult and even the most inexperienced could do it if you follow a few simple steps...
Loosen Before You LiftPull off the hub cabs, if your wheels have this feature, and find the lug nuts underneath. Use the lug nut wrench hidden in your trunk, with the spare tire and jack, to loosen the nuts with a counter-clockwise motion. Only loosen the nuts; do not remove them completely.
Jack It UpUnderneath your car are specific chassis, or frame, points that are safe for a jack to push against. Look under you car beside the damaged tire and place your jack under this safe point. Using the lever, carefully jack your car up. You do not need to lift it high. Simply raise it until the tire slightly lifts off of the ground. Keep any body parts away from the jack to avoid an injury if it should fail.
Survey The DamageNot all flat tires have the same damage. Once lifted off the ground, spin the tire carefully and find the puncture point. If you find a nail or other thin object lodged in the tire, you can use fix-it foam spray temporarily to fill your tire until you can drive to a repair facility. Simply attach the spray can to the tire's nozzle and fill it.
Remove ItLarge holes or gashes cannot be fixed on the side of the road. Loosen and remove the lug nuts with the wrench and pull the tire off the car. Normally cars have a spare in the back but those tires are not meant for extensive use, you'll need to visit a repair store for cheap tires to replace the one you had to use.
Tighten It UpPlace the spare tire on the car. Put the lug nuts on the wheel and tighten them slightly. Do not fully tighten them at this point. You may disturb the jack and cause the car to fall off of its lift. Lower the vehicle slowly with the jack. Tighten the lug nuts completely with the wrench at this point.
Changing a tire is a skill that everyone should have as there will not always be someone readily available to help you. With these careful steps, you can quickly and confidently resolve your flat tire issue in a safe manner.