How to change a tire -

How to change a tire

The technology in today's cars is absolutely amazing. But even the most high-tech vehicles still have rubber tires. Our auto expert, Steve Strope, is here to show you what to do if you ever find yourself in the middle of nowhere with a flat.

"It must be a 'Murphy's Law' kind of thing, but flat tires seem to happen at the worst possible time and usually in the most inconvenient places," says Steve. "That's why every driver should know how to change a flat tire – just in case."

No matter where you are when your tire goes flat, safety is your first concern. If you're driving, pull off the road and get to a safe spot.

"I suggest setting a flare or safety triangle about 75 feet behind you. This helps warn oncoming motorists and keeps you safe," says Steve.

Before you lift your tire off the ground, you want to take your tire iron and loosen your lug nuts. You need the tire touching the ground to give you some resistance so that you've got the strength to turn the lug nuts.

"Next, take your jack and align it underneath the proper jacking point. If you have  trouble spotting it, use your owner's manual as a guide," says Steve. "Once you've found the jacking point, start raising the jack until it contacts the car's frame. Then continue expanding the jack. You want to lift the car until the flat tire is completely off the ground."

Now that your tire is completely off the ground, you can now remove all your lug nuts. Make sure you set them somewhere safe so they don't roll away.

"Next, remove the flat tire and position the spare tire over the wheel studs. Now start screwing each of the wheel lugs back on by hand," says Steve. "Once you can't tighten the lugs any further by hand, use the tire iron to make them snug. Then carefully lower the jack until the tire makes contact with the ground."

When the tire has completely touched the ground, but you haven't put the full weight of the body on it, tighten the lug nuts completely using a cross-pattern. That's needed to make sure it goes on straight and true.

"Being able to change your own flat tire is a great skill to have. But don't wait until you're on the side of the road and it's night time and raining to learn how! Take 20 minutes in your own driveway to practice. When you do have to change that flat tire, you'll be glad you did," adds Steve.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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