Flat tires can happen anywhere and at any time. In many cases, you can call AAA or a local mechanic to help you out, but in the event that you have limited cell phone reception, you should know how to change a flat tire.
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How to Change a Flat Tire
First things first, you should be prepared. Most vehicles come with a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench, so make sure your car has these items. There are also a few things that might come in handy while changing a flat tire, such as a flashlight, gloves, a plastic rain poncho, tire blocks, and a tarp or mat to kneel on. Once you make sure you have these things along for your trip, here’s what you should do in the event of a flat tire.
- Pull over to the side of the road. Either take the next freeway exit or pull as far onto the shoulder as possible, preferably not close to a curve.
- Turn on your hazard lights to warn oncoming drivers.
- Use the lug wrench to loosen the wheel lug nuts. At this time, do not remove the lug nuts completely. If the lug nuts are too tight to move, try hitting the wrench with a rock or standing on it.
- Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to find out where to place the jack. Make sure the jack is secure and use it to raise the car until the tire is approximately six inches off the ground.
- At this time, you can use the wrench to remove the lug nuts completely and pull the tire straight toward yourself. Make sure to set the lug nuts aside and do not lose them!
- Take the spare tire and line it up to the lug nut posts on the wheel base. Push the spare tire all the way onto the wheel base until it cannot go any further.
- Put the lug nuts back onto the wheel, but do not tighten them completely.
- Use the jack to lower your vehicle back to the ground and remove the jack from under the car.
- Tighten the lug nuts completely but not one at a time. Tighten each lug nut little by little until they are all as tight as they can be.
- Gather your supplies and place them in your vehicle.
There you have it! Your spare tire should be able to transport you to your destination, but make sure you have it replaced with a regular tire as soon as possible. Contact our team at Toyota Vacaville if you have any questions about how to change a flat tire.