October 11, 2017
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Elizabeth City, NC – According to a study conducted by NBC News, almost 60% of Americans don’t know how to change their vehicle’s tires. Instead, many rely on roadside assistance for a quick and easy solution in the event of a flat tire. Knowing how to change your vehicle’s tires is a necessary skill that all drivers should be able to do. While it is easy to rely on roadside assistance for help, there’s always a chance that you may get a flat tire in an area with no cell phone reception, leaving you on your own. Luckily, changing your vehicle’s tire is a quick and easy process to learn. Follow these guidelines if you wind up with a flat tire while you’re out on the road.
What You’ll Need to Fix a Flat
- Spare Tire
- Lug Wrench
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
In order to change a tire, you’ll need all of these items to safely and effectively replace your flat. All of the items listed should come with your vehicle and, besides your vehicle owner’s manual, are typically located in your trunk. If you can’t find these items, or if your car didn’t come with any of the items listed above, you should purchase new ones right away.
- Find a Safe Place to Park: If you notice you have a flat tire, slowly reduce your speed and look for a safe and level place to park. Turn on your hazard lights, pull over into the safe area away from traffic, and apply your parking brake.
- Remove Your Hubcap: If your vehicle has hubcaps that cover the lug nuts on the wheel, you’ll want to get it removed before you can get to work on your tire. Use the flat end of your lug wrench (the “L”-shaped tool in your tire changing kit) to pry your hubcap off. If you aren’t sure how to remove your hubcap, consult your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Loosen the Lug Nuts: Using the other end of the lug wrench, unscrew the lug nuts on your vehicle’s tire (there should be six of them) until they’re loose. Do not completely remove the lug nuts just yet though. Also, if you’re having trouble loosening the lug nuts, use your foot or the weight of your body against the lug wrench if you need to.
- Position Your Jack Under Your Vehicle: Look under your car for a clear area of exposed metal or a groove in your vehicle’s frame near the flat tire where you can place your jack. If you aren’t sure where to look, consult your vehicle owner’s manual to find the specific location to place your tire jack.
- Raise Your Vehicle With the Jack: Carefully crank the lever on your vehicle’s jack to raise your vehicle until it’s at least six inches above the ground. While your vehicle is raised, it is extremely important to make sure you don’t put any part of your body underneath it.
- Unscrew the Lug Nuts: Now that your vehicle is raised, it’s time to finish unscrewing your lug nuts. You should be able to do it by hand after loosening them up in step 3. Once removed, keep the lug nuts in a nearby location so you can have them on hand when you put the new tire on.
- Remove Your Flat Tire: Grab your tire by the treads and carefully remove it until it’s free from your vehicle. Make sure to lay it flat so it doesn’t roll away.
- Mount Your Spare Tire: Now, take your spare tire and line up the lug nut holes in the rim so that they align with the lug bolts (the metal bolts where you removed the lug nuts). Gently push your spare tire in until the lug bolts are visible through the rim of your tire.
- Tighten the Lug Nuts: Put your lug nuts back on the lug bolts and tighten them by hand. Tighten them as much as you can.
- Lower Your Vehicle: Slowly and carefully lower your vehicle on the jack so that it’s on a level plane again. After this, you’ll want to tighten the lug nuts one more time with your lug wrench for good measure.
- Replace Your Hubcap: Your hubcap should fit in perfectly back on your spare but if it doesn’t, keep it with your flat tire after you put everything away.
- Put Away Your Equipment: Put your flat tire, lug wrench, and jack in your vehicle’s trunk. Double check that you have everything and pat yourself on the back! You’ve changed your flat tire!
Your vehicle’s spare tire isn’t built to handle high speeds or long drives, so make sure you drive carefully to the nearest auto service technician. If you need to have your tire fixed or replaced, do not hesitate to call us or schedule an appointment for service. We’ll get your flat tire looked at, fixed, or replaced as soon as possible! Now that you know how to change your vehicle’s tires, you’ll be prepared if you end up stuck on the road with a flat. If you happen to get a flat tire or need service performed on your vehicle, take a look at our service menu to find out what we can do for you! At Performance Chevrolet, we’re glad to assist you with any tire care or routine maintenance you may require. Let us know how we can help!
Performance Chevrolet is located at 1005 W. Ehringhaus St, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 and we are here for any of your auto or community needs. Feel free to give us a call at (252) 338-9100 or visit our website: www.driveperry.com
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