Flat tires are a huge inconvenience. The only thing worse than having a flat on your way home from work is having to wait on a tow truck to come to get you. Autoworks in Ithaca, NY wants to give you some tips on how to change your own tire so that you can keep money in your pocket and get your car back on the road.
Get off the road - When a tire blows out, you don’t want to keep driving on it. Besides the lack of steering ability, you risk damaging the rim, suspension, electronics, and body of the vehicle. That said, you still want to get out of the way; pull off the road in a safe place, as far from traffic as possible.
Get the spare and jack ready - Before doing anything else, you need to assess the situation. Make sure the vehicle is on solid and level ground, then consult your owner’s manual or other posted instructions on the vehicle for the location of your spare and jack, how to get them out of the car, and how to use them. Some vehicles store the spare and jack in creative ways, so you may need a few minutes to get it figured out.
Loosen the lug nuts - Before jacking up the vehicle, break the lug nuts loose on the wheel you need to remove. It’s easier with the vehicle still on the ground, since the nuts are tight and you want to keep the whole wheel from turning. Don’t remove them completely; just get them loose enough they’ll come off easily after the vehicle is in the air.
Lift the vehicle - Set the parking brake. Use the jack to raise the vehicle until the wheel is off the ground. You want to make sure the vehicle is lifted high enough to fit the spare on with no issues. Be cautious, making sure the vehicle stays stable and doesn’t try to roll forward or backward; if the jack or the vehicle shifts, lower the jack, resituate it, and try again. Keep yourself out from under the vehicle, just in case it falls.
Replace the wheel - Finish loosening the lug nuts, pull the old tire and wheel off, and put the spare tire on the vehicle. Spin the lug nuts on by hand, then tighten them in an alternating criss-cross pattern until they’re tight enough to lower the vehicle. Once you’ve lowered the jack, and the spare is touching the ground, finish tightening the lug nuts.
Get a new tire - Most spares aren’t really meant to be used for long. Prolonged use can damage suspension, negatively affects driving and handling, and makes your vehicle look bad. Remember not to leave your original wheel on the side of the road, and go get a new tire put on. We’ll balance it, check out the condition of your other tires, and put the wheel back on for you.
No matter your repair or maintenance needs, our technicians have you covered. For the best service in Ithaca, NY, call or stop by Autoworks today.
Thank you for visiting Autoworks in Ithaca, NY. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.