Victoria Car & Vehicle Maintenance - Tires & Wheels - Changing A Flat
While changing a flat may seem to be simple enough, use these safety tips.
- Always park on level ground away from oncoming traffic.
- Always place the gear shift lever in park, or in gear for a standard transmission
- Always set the emergency brake and remove the keys from the ignition.
Now you are ready to change the flat.
Step 1: Remove the jack, spare tire and lug wrench from the trunk.
Step 2: Pry off the wheel cover from the rim using the flat end of the lug wrench. If your vehicle has locking lug nuts, consult the Owner's Manual for proper removal instructions.
Step 3: Before you lift the car on the jack, loosen each lug nut two full turns. NEVER remove the lug nuts completely at this stage.
Step 4: Place the jack under the vehicle as recommended in the car's Owner's Manual, and raise the tire approximately two inches from the ground, to give enough room to remove the flat & install the spare. NEVER place your hands or feet under the vehicle or tire while it is jacked up.
Step 5: Now remove all of the lug nuts, putting them inside the wheel cover for safekeeping. If you have trouble loosening a stubborn lug nut, spray it with WD-40 giving it two minutes to loosen up..
Step 6: Next remove the flat tire from the working area, placing it flat on the ground behind your car, so it won't roll into traffic.
Step 7: Grab the outsides of the spare tire and place onto the hub. NEVER place your hands under the tire or in the center of the rim.
Step 8: Re-insert the lug nuts, with the tapered end of the nut facing the rim. When they are all on, hand-tighten the lug nuts.
Step 9: Now lower the tire to the ground and fully tighten the lug nuts, using the lug wrench. Tighten one lug, then the opposite, in a criss-cross pattern. If you have an odd number of lugs, use a star pattern, tightening ever other bolt until they are al tight. This will ensure that the rim is properly aligned to the hub.
Step 10: After you have finished, put the lug wrench, jack, flat tire and its wheel cover into the trunk. Step 11: As soon as possible, have a mechanic recheck the lug nuts and place the wheel cover back
Never drive a car without a good spare tire. Get the flat replaced as soon as possible, and get a working spare back into the trunk.