If you’re heading out on a summer road-trip, we hope you’ve already taken our road-trip safety advice to heart. However, sometimes you just can’t plan for the inevitable, and Rossi Chevrolet Buick GMC wants you to be able to handle that inconvenient flat tire with aplomb. Follow our step-by-step directions on how to change your flat tire and put on the spare, and you’ll be rolling along to your local New Jersey tire store in no time.
- First, when you hear the flat tire flapping against the pavement, pull over to the side of the road – even better, pull off the road completely and into a parking lot. Park your vehicle on a flat, stable area, turn on your hazard lights and exit the vehicle.
- Go to the opposite side of the flat tire and wedge a rock, brick or other heavy object in the front side of the front and rear tires to prevent rolling.
- Take out your needed supplies: jack, spare tire, wrench, owner’s manual and screwdriver. Remove the hubcap, if you have one, by inserting the screwdriver where the cover meets the wheel and applying leverage.
- Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire. Fit the wrench on the lug nut, and apply all of your pressure to the arm on the left to turn the lug nut counterclockwise. Don’t remove any lug nuts just yet, but loosen them enough that you can remove them by hand when the time comes.
- Consult your owner’s manual and follow the jack instructions to lift your vehicle up about six inches off the ground. Make sure the car remains stable and that the jack doesn’t lean or lift at an angle.
- Use your hands to remove the lug nuts, turning counterclockwise.
- Remove the tire, pulling it straight out, and place it under the vehicle. This way, if the jack fails, the car will hopefully fall on the tire and avoid injuring someone.
- Line up the spare tire’s holes with the lug posts on the car, and push the spare on until it won’t go any farther.
- Put the lug nuts on to the posts and tighten them by hand, clockwise.
- Remove the tire you placed under the car, lower the jack, and then remove the jack.
- Use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts, turning it clockwise. Start with one lug nut, and tighten it by one turn. Move to the lug nut opposite the one you already tightened, and tighten it the same amount. Continue in a “star” pattern, tightening each lug nut a small amount until they are all as tight as possible.
- Put your tools and flat tire in your trunk, and you’re ready to go!
Remember, your spare tire is usually only good for about 70 miles of driving – check your owner’s manual for exact mileage. You can’t drive on the spare indefinitely, so make an appointment as soon as possible with a reputable mechanic to repair or replace your flat tire! Also, be sure to regularly check your spare to make sure it’s in good condition for when you need it. Drive safely!