We’ve all been there, you are driving in the Cleveland rain, when you hear a loud thump. You hear a flapping noise coming from your tire and feel the steering wheel pull to the left or the right. You pull over and see that what you’ve feared has happened – your tire is flat.
No need to fear! Rad Air has all the tips on how to successfully and independently change your tire.
1. Pull over on the side of the road. Make sure that your surroundings are safe and on level ground. Put your car in park and turn on your hazard lights. If it is dark out, reflectors or road flares ensure an extra layer of protection.
2. What you’ll need: a spare tire, a tire jack, and a tire iron. All of these should be located within your vehicle; most likely, under the floor mat in your trunk. The spare tire may also be under the car, depending on the vehicle. Before driving anywhere, you should know the whereabouts of these items.
3. Place a rock, brick, or any other heavy object behind the tire to prevent the car from moving.
4. Remove the hubcap, if your car has one. The screws holding the hubcap should be easy to remove, as they are only plastic.
5. Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts, but do not remove them entirely. This starts the process of removing them, because it would be extremely difficult once the car is jacked up. For the best results, press down counter-clockwise on the tire iron.
6. Use the car jack to lift the vehicle off of the flat tire. Your owner’s manual will tell you the proper jacking point. If you can’t find the manual, just place the jack under a good bit of the car’s frame located by the flat tire. Crank the jack handle clockwise until the tire is entirely off the ground.
7. Remove lug nuts entirely and pull the flat tire off. Make sure to keep the lug nuts close by and don’t let them roll away. They are what will keep the new tire in place once it is replaced.
8. Align the spare tire and push it on the wheel studs. Use your hands to screw the lug nuts partially back on.
9. Lower car back to the ground and remove the tire jack. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern, using your bodyweight to make sure that they are on tightly.
10. Get back on the road. The spare tire is not a permanent fix, but it will get you safely to the experts at Rad Air. Count on us to get your tires back in tip-top shape.