Many car owners think that they properly know how to change a tire. While most drivers learned how to change a tire at one time or another, it is a skill that can easily be forgotten. There are many steps that need to be remembered to properly change a flat tire. And there are some common dangers or problems that can occur while changing a flat tire.
Keep Spare Tire Inflated & in Good Condition
Even if you know all of the steps to changing a tire, one common problem can pop up before you even get a chance to fully start the process. Many drivers will go to get their spare tire only to find that their spare tire is flat. You will want to check the air in your spare tire periodically to ensure that it has enough air in it so that you do not find yourself stuck with a spare tire that will not actually work. You will also want to make sure that you take the spare tire out of your car before you use the jack to raise your car up.
Carry Tools Needed to Change a Tire in Your Vehicle; Jack Lug Wrench, Triangle Reflectors & More
Another problem drivers frequently run into is not having the appropriate tools to change their tire. In order to change your tire you will need a jack and a lug wrench in your car. Knowing where to put the jack is also extremely important. Putting the jack on improperly can lead to injury. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that vehicle jacks cause 5,000 injuries each year. Changing a tire on the side of the road can cause safety hazards to the driver. Your car should be equipped with road flares or hazard reflectors to warn drivers that they will need to give you extra space as they approach you. You will also want to make sure that your hazard lights are on. It is not recommended that you change a tire at all on the freeway without the help of a roadside assistance company.
Loosen Lug Nuts Before Jacking Car
Once you are ready to start changing your tire you will want to first loosen the lug nuts before you jack the car up at all. Many times your lug nuts are tightly installed on your tire. Loosening your lug nuts can require a lot of force. Having your tire on the ground and the weight of the car on the tire still will help prevent the tire from just spinning as you loosen the lug nuts.
Tips to Jack Up a Car
After you have jacked the vehicle up, the weight and center of gravity of the vehicle shifts. Your car may roll forward, backward, or even slide off of the jack. Before you start working on your car you will want to set your vehicle’s emergency brake and block the tire with rocks or blocks to help prevent the car from rolling. It is recommended that you block the tire opposite of the flat tire. For example, if the left front tire is flat, place a rock or tire block behind the right rear tire.
Tighten Lug Nuts on Spare Tire
When tightening the lug nuts on the spare tire you will want to make sure that you get them tight enough. By the time you have reached this part of the process you may be tired or overwhelmed. Not properly tightening the lug nuts can cause serious problems with your car that could result in injury.
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We hope that this crash course in some of the dangers of changing a flat tire has refreshed your memory on the proper precautions and steps to take if you find yourself needing to change a tire on the side of the road. If you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire and do not want to change it yourself, do not have an inflated spare tire, or the necessary equipment to change a tire, give Citywide Towing a call! We provide roadside assistance services. We can get you back on the road in no time. Contact us for all your towing and roadside needs.