Changing A Car Tire Made Easy

Changing a tire in case of a flat is a good basic skill to know if you're a driver. It takes some time but you save on the cost of calling for roadside assistance. It'll also save you the wait and you can get to where you're going without being to seriously held up.

You'll always want to review your vehicle owner's manual for the correct procedure for changing a tire on your particular model and make. The following are only general guidelines for a tire change so always consult your owner manual first.

Locate your Tools

. The tools needed for a tire change:
. Jack
. Rubber mallet
. Wheel nut wrench
. tire iron, pry bar or large screwdriver
. Wheel lock key (if you have a wheel lock)
. Wheel chocks or bricks

Caution: Safety First

You should never go underneath a vehicle that is only supported by a car jack. If you must do this, make sure you have get an approved jack for this procedure. Always wear some eye protection when working on or around your vehicle.

Prepare For Tire Change

Make sure your vehicle is parked on a firm, level surface. If this is difficult where you are then, make it as level as you possibly can.

Next, check to see that you have placed your vehicle in the "Park" position if it has an automatic transmission. If your vehicle has a manual transmission then you should check to see that is placed in the "Reverse" position. Now, you can go ahead and apply the parking brake and remove the car key from the ignition.

You should place a brick, or wheel chock if you have one, diagonally opposite the wheel that is to be changed. For example, if you are changing the left front tire, you should place the brick or wheel chock at the right rear tire. If you can place bricks or wheel chocks at both wheels, this would provide you wit even more safety and is recommended if possible.

Removing The Wheel

Some vehicles have separate wheel covers. If your vehicle does, use a pry bar to remove them first. Remove wheel covers by placing the pry bar beneath the edge of the wheel cover and then gently pry the wheel cover upwards. Repeat this at different points around the wheel cover until it starts to loosen, then remove the entire wheel cover. If your vehicle has a wheel lock key, fit the key to the wheel lock and place your lug wrench onto it. Turn the lug wrench clockwise until the wheel lock becomes loose.

Once you are done the above, place the wheel lock in a safe place. Be sure to place it where there is no chance for it to roll away and possible crack the other lug nuts. What you are trying to do is loosen the lug nuts only. You do not want to remove them completely. If you find that he lug nut is difficult to remove, you can place the lug wrench on the lug nut until it gets near to horizontal with the ground. Then, stand safely close to the end of the lug wrench and do a little hop or jump. This should crack that tight lug nut loose.

Now place the jack in position following your vehicle's manual instructions. Most of the time, this will be under the body of your vehicle, just forward of the rear wheels and to the rear of the front wheels. If the ground is grassy, sandy or soggy place some plywood under the jack. This will provide a clear workspace.

Then, carefully and steadily raise the vehicle until the tire is just barely making contact with the ground. Using your lug wrench, remove all the lug nuts and place them aside to a safe area. Raise your vehicle with jack until the wheel clears the ground. Now remove the wheel.