Video:Tire Changewith Aaron Gold
You don't have to panic the next time you get a flat tire. Follow these simple steps and you'll be able to replace your flat tire with your spare quickly and easily.See Transcript
Hi, I'm Aaron Gold, your Guide to Cars at About.com
Oh, man - flat tire. There are two things you can do: If you're pregnant, or have a bad back, it's best to call someone to help, but if you're up to it, you can save some time and do it yourself.
Prepare to Do a Tire Change
If you're out on the road when you get a flat, be sure to pull over to a safe place, away from traffic, and on a flat, level, surface. Put the transmission in park if it's an automatic or reverse if it's a stick, and set the parking brake.
Tire Change Essentials
Cars come with everything you need to change a tire:
- A jack
- Lug nut wrench
- Spare Tire
You may want to have a couple of other useful things:
- A pair of gloves
- Large plastic garbage bag (to help keep your hands and clothes clean)
- Set of wheel chocks
Chock the wheel diagonally opposite the flat tire. If your car has a plastic wheel cover that covers the bolts, pry it off. On this Honda, the bolts go right through the wheel cover.
Loosen the bolts before you jack up the car. You may have to yank pretty hard.
Now, check the car owner's manual to make sure you know how to operate the jack and what the proper jacking points are. Be sure to position your car-jack under a jacking point to avoid damaging the car or creating a dangerous situation. I'll crank the jack just enough to get the flat tire off the ground. Notice I'm keeping my body away from any place where it could get crushed if the car falls off the jack.
Remove the lug nut bolts... and pull the wheel off.
For a full size spare, you may have to use the jack to raise the car a bit, then you can roll the spare into place, but these compact spares are light enough to lift into place. Tighten the lug nut bolts, using a diagonal pattern, to attach the spare.
Lower the car... and tighten the bolts again to assure the spare is set squarely on the car.
Put the flat-tire in the bag and you won't get your clothes dirty. In most cars, the flat-tire will fit into the tire well where your spare was. Rip a hole in the bag to tighten everything back down.
After a Tire Change
When you get on the road, please note, if you have to make a sudden swerve, the car may respond differently than it would with four regular tires. So be sure to observe spare-tire speed limits noted in the car owner's manual. Be sure to pull over and re-tighten your lug nut bolts after driving the car about 20 miles. Also get to a tire shop to replace the spare tire as soon as you can.
Thanks for watching. I'm Aaron Gold. To learn more, visit us on the web at Cars.about.com. Drive safely!