Hey, my friends, how y’all doing? It’s me again, and I’m back with another one – welcome to my new maintenance series! This time we’re gonna talk about the art of how to change car’s tires. That’s the second most important thing a man should know how to do, the first being changing the oil – or, maybe even the other way around. Yep, we’ve all been there – stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire(s). Now, fortunately, almost every corner of the United States is covered with phone reception, but, you’ll still gonna have to wait – sometimes really long – before the mechanic arrives and helps you with your trouble.
See also some usefull materials:
The do-it-yourself approach
Now, do you wannna have to wait for him, or you wanna learn how to change you tires yourself? I did my first tire change back when I was 21, and had my Dad and two of my uncles right next to me, giving advices, and lending a hand. It’s been almost 15 years since then, so, to keep it short – I know my tires.
And besides, you’ve seen those movies, where a young dude/girl/couple is stranded in some abandoned place, with no cell service, with no help, and there’s a maniac around? Yeah, now you know why you gotta learn how to change your flat tires ASAP. By the way, the process of changing a tire is a pretty simple and straightforward one, so, if you’re ready to put that extra work in, and are willing to listen to my instructions, then you’ll get your head (and hands) around it pretty soon. Let’s roll!
Getting started with changing car’s tires
Alright, so, first of all, you’ll need to find a stable, even, and safe spot to change your tire. Hills and uneven, soft grounds are the worst for this situation. The ground should be flat, so that your car won’t roll around. If you’re not 100% sure about the surface, put heavy objects (like rocks, logs, concrete – whatever will hold) really close to your rear and front tires. If the flat tire situation caught you on the road, then you must park your vehicle as far from the traffic, as you can, and plus, turn those emergency lights on.
Next, apply your car’s parking brake, and switch to the “Park” mode. If the transmission is a standard one, got to “first” or “reverse”.
And one more thing, before we start: If you’re not sure that you can pull this off, you better don’t even try changing your tires. Make that call, and wait for the mechanic to arrive. No need to play the hero here, guys, ’cause if you do, you’ll be calling for some unwanted trouble, and you can even hurt somebody, or yourself. So, don’t you go changing the tires right in the middle of the road, especially when it’s dark, and/or raining – be smart about it.
Watch on video the best tutorial to change a car tire:
Take out the jack and your spare tire (I hope you’ve got one on the back of your car). You should install the jack under the car’s frame close to the tire that you wanna change. It’s important to make sure, that the jack touches the metal part of the car’s frame.
A lot of vehicles these days have plastic molded along the bottom. So, if you fail to mount the jack at the right spot, it will break (crack, rather) the molded plastic, as you star lifting your car. I repeat, this is an important part, so, if you’re not really sure you’re doing it right, if you’re hesitant about the jack’s positioning, refer to the owner’s manual.
Different car, different approach with car’s tires
If you’ve got a modern “uni-body” type of a car, then you’re in luck, cause with most of them, you’ll find a tiny mark right before the front wheel wells, or right in front of the rear wheel wells – that’s where you’re supposed to put the jack.
And if your car is a mid-size truck, or just an older model, that has a frame, then, in that case, one good technique is to place your jack on either one of the frame beams right in front of the rear tire, or behind the front one.
Next, raise your jack to the point, when it’s supporting your vehicle – but not lifting. The jack must be steadily in place against the underside of the car. In addition, it’s a good idea to check if the jack is placed perpendicular to the ground (remember your high-school mathematics, people).
How to change your car’s tires – loosening the nuts
Alright, let’s get really up-close and personal with the tire. Have a seat right next to the flat tire, remove the cab and start loosening the nuts with counterclockwise twisting. No need to take them all the way out, though; just loosen the resistance, “untighten” it, like some folks like to say. It’s imperative for your wheel to be in firm contact with the ground; this way, you’ll make sure that you’re actually twisting and turning the nuts, and not the whole wheel.
Ok, grab your favourite wrench, and let’s go; there are a lot of wrenches out there, with different sizes and different openings. If you choose the right one, it will grab onto the nut with a tight grip, and won’t rattle.
Hey, don’t feel embaraced, if you can’t seem to break the nuts free. It requires a lot of force, fellas. If nothing’s happening, despite your best efforts, try using your body weight, or just simply stomp on your wrench (make sure you’re turning the nut counter-clockwise, otherwise you may break it). By the way, a cross wrench will have a lot more torgue, than an ordinary wrench with a single-handed make.
Video How to change a car tire alone:
And now we finally take the flat tire off, and install the new one.
Pump the jack up to lift the tire high enough, so that it’s off the ground. It needs to be at a height, that will allow you to freely remove the old bad tire and replace it with the new one.
While you’re doing the lifting check to make sure that your vehicle is stable. If it’s not very firm, lower the jack back and see to it that the car is stable again, before you lift it back up. Also, if you see that the jack is leaning, or not lifting 100% straight, lower it, solve the problem, and only then do proceed.
Removing the old tire
Remove the nuts – completely this time. Turn them all counterclockwise, until they fall off into your hands. Next, remove the flat tire. After you’re done, I recommend placing it under your car, so, if, God forbid, the jack fails, and your car falls down, the flat wheel will hold it, and, hopefully, save you from a really bad injury. Usually, if the jack is positioned on a flat, firm ground, there shouldn’t be any problems. But, still, get that tire under your car – you never know, what’s gonna happen.
Be adviced, the old tire might not get off that easily – maybe there will be some rusting going on. To loosen it, try striking the inside half of the tire wth a mallet, or something similar.
How to change car’s tires – installing the new tire
After you’ve successfully removed the old tire, place the new one on the hub. Take your time, and try to perfectly align the rim of the replacement tire with the wheel bolts, and only then put on the nuts. I recommend to tighten the nut lugs by hand until they’re firm and tight – it shouldn’t be a problem. Next, tighten the nuts to the fullest with the wrench.
A quick tip: don’t fully tighten one nut at a time; this way, you’ll ensure a good balance for your tire. Go around with a star pattern, turning the nuts just a little bit each time, until they are all nice and tight. And plus, don’t use too much force in the process, otherwise, you might upset the jack. Once you put the car down, you’ll get a chance to tighten the nuts once again, without the risk of the car falling on your legs.
Alright, we’re almost done with the “How To Change Your Car’s Tires” series. Just lower the car; slowly, don’t put the car’s whole weight on the tire. Then, tighten the nuts as much as you can. After that, lower your vehicle fully to the ground, and take off the jack. And finally, replace the hubcap.
One more thing: put your flat tire in the trunk and visit a mechanic. Ask him about the price for a repair. Usually, unsignificant punctures will cost you no more than 15 dollars. And if the tire is beyond saving, well, at least the mechanic will dispose of it properly and will sell you a new tire – probably with a discount.
Ok, that’ the end of it, my friends. It’s not that hard of a job, now is it? If you payed attention to what I was saying throughout this course, then right now you might as well be a pro on the subject! Make sure to check back with me to catch my latest posts. See ya!
Please, watch this video – How to change a tire