Car Tips & Advice

The Five L’s of Changing A Tire

Learning to change a flat tire.

The thumping sound of a flat tire is dreaded by almost every driver alike. Sometimes you still face this panic-inducing dilemma despite all your efforts to avoid it, such as keeping an eye on your tread and air pressure. No matter the cause of your flat tire these five L’s will help you get back on the road quickly and safely.

  1. Location Never just continue to drive around on your flat. Otherwise you’re going to end up needing more than just a new tire! Turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers around you know to be cautious. Try to find a nearby area that has a level surface and is ideally away from traffic.
  2. Loosen Time to get to work. After gathering all your tools (spare tire, jack, gauge) begin by loosening the lug nuts. Don’t remove them just yet.
  3. Lift Check your owners manual to locate your vehicle’s jack point. You’re going to want to make sure you’re lifting from the correct place. A jack placed haphazardly can result in a broken jack or further damage to your car. Once you’ve got your jack in position, crank it clockwise until you can see space between the tire and the ground. You can then remove the lug nuts and put them in a safe place (we don’t need a repeat of A Christmas Story here). Remove the tire and place the spare on. The lug nuts can then be returned to their rightful position as tight as you can with your fingers.
  4. Lower Crank that jack counter-clockwise until you’re back on the ground. Go ahead a tighten down the lug nuts, but do it in a criss-cross or star-shaped pattern instead of going around in a circle one by one. This ensures the tire is as balanced as possible.
  5. Look Out The hard work is done. Your tools can be put away and hands wiped off. You’re not done yet, however. This last step is often overlooked and is generally the cause of further issues. Your spare is made for the sole purpose of getting you off of the street and somewhere safe when needed. It is not a replacement. Due to the fact of its differing dimensions, be extra careful when you brake. It is also not made for high speeds! Aim to keep it at 50 MPH or less. Your miles traveled are limited so get to a store as soon as possible.

Remember, stay calm and stay safe. Unexpected things happen, but you can be prepared. These 5 L’s will help get you where you need to be.

Check out this article on 8 things to keep in your vehicle!

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