Every man, woman, and child of a certain age should know how to change a tire in a pinch. When it comes to survival skills this one is a MUST. You never know when your cell may die, or you could be on a long solo trip (which we totally recommend, see why HERE) without *gasp* cell reception. Whatever the circumstances, you’ll be thankful you took the time to learn
Check your car’s spare tire periodically to make sure it has enough air in it, and look at your car’s manual to familiarize yourself with any unique features. Then learn these basic steps. You will be back on the road in no time.
How to Change A Tire:
What You’ll Need:
- Wood, brick or metal wheel chocks
- Scissor jack or hydraulic jack
First Things First:
Choose a safe spot to change your tire—someplace well lit, out of the flow of traffic, and with no inclination (it is unsafe to jack up a car on an incline). Turn on your hazard lights so your vehicle is visible to others, and use some kind of block (wood, brick, or metal wheel chocks) on the opposite end of the car that is going to be raised to make sure the wheels don’t move. Remove the spare tire from the car.
Step by Step:
Step 1: Using a jack, start to raise the car up. If you are using a scissor jack, insert the rod over the knob and crank. If you are using a hydraulic jack, place the handle in the appropriate location and pump up and down using even strokes.
Step 2: Using a screwdriver, pry the wheel cover off by applying a bit of pressure where the cover meets the wheel. You may have to do this in several places, but the cover should eventually pop off (think of it almost as if you were opening a can of paint).
Step 3: Take the lug nuts off, using the end of the lug wrench that fits your particular vehicle’s lug nut size. Apply pressure to the left, which loosens the lug nuts.
Step 4: Take the lug nuts completely off and remove the flat tire. Using both your hands, pull the flat tire toward you until you feel yourself supporting its full weight (instead of the bolts supporting the weight). Roll it on the ground to a spot away from you.
Step 5: Once the flat is removed, lift the spare onto the bolts. Then replace the lug nuts and tighten them, first by hand as much as you can and then using the wrench. Tighten them enough to keep them in place, but don’t tighten them fully until you lower the car.
Step 6: Lower the car (by reversing step 2) and then finish tightening the lug nuts all the way. Replace the wheel cover, using the heel of your hand (not a hammer or wrench, which might dent the cover). Place a soft rag against the wheel cover before you bang on it with your hand to cushion the blow.
Place the flat tire in the car. Remove and stow the wheel block and you’re on your way!
Don’t just junk that old tire, get creative and repurpose it. We love the idea of turning it into a planter or even a swing!