How To Change A Flat Tire

changing a flat tire

Flat tires are about as convenient as a blizzard in July. They pop up at the worst times, and usually bring your busy day to a screeching halt. You may believe that falling victim to a flat tire is all a matter of chance, but in reality there are preventative measures that can be taken to protect your tires. By maintaining proper tire pressure and even tire wear, you will give your tires the edge they need to combat road hazards.

Don't let a flat tire catch you by surprise. Be prepared by keeping each of these items in your vehicle at all times.

  • A Spare tire
  • A tire iron that matches the lug nuts on your wheels
  • A portable emergency jack

All of this equipment is usually located in or beneath the trunk of your vehicle. Without all three of these components, you will not be able to change a flat tire.

How Do You Know If You Have A Flat Tire?

Unlike some automotive problems, a flat tire is easily identifiable. If you're driving down the road and hear a loud boom, and feel your vehicle start to careen out of control then you know you have a flat tire. Here are some other tell-tale signs of a flat tire.

  • Your vehicle will begin to vibrate
  • Your vehicle will give off a feeling of sluggishness on acceleration
  • The vehicle loses momentum easily
  • Your vehicle feels like it's trying to brake while driving
  • If one of your front tires is flat, your vehicle will pull towards the side of the flat tire

If you hit a pothole or run over a piece of debris, you could puncture a tire. You can identify a punctured tire by listening for a hissing noise, which is the air slowly leaking out of your tire. If a punctured tire is not repaired quickly, you could very easily blow it out. Tire maintenance such as this is not something that you can wait to take care of. You would be putting both yourself and other drivers at risk by doing so.

What Are The Causes Of A Flat Tire?

You can get a flat tire while driving, or you may notice it when you're parked. Getting a flat tire while driving can be very dangerous, especially if the flat occurs while you're driving at high speeds. In addition to tire pressure and tire wear, here are other possible causes for a flat tire.

  • A tire puncture
  • Tire failure
  • Damage to the valve system
  • Tire damage due to a collision

Excessively worn tires are prone to getting punctured. In order to help improve your tire wear and potentially avoid an annoying flat tire, consider rotating your tires and balancing your wheels.

car jacked up
Proper Tire Changing Procedure

Before you begin, refer to your vehicles owner manual for specifications such as where to properly place your car jack.

  1. Find the flattest and most secure surface beneath your vehicle to place the jack.
  2. Before you attempt to raise your vehicle off the ground you will want to partially loosen the lug nuts. It will be difficult to apply pressure to the lug nuts when the tire is lifted off the ground because the wheel will spin.
  3. Once the lug nuts are loosened, jack the car up until the flat tire is an inch or two off the ground, just high enough to remove the wheel.
  4. Completely remove the lug nuts, but do so in a star shaped pattern. This is important because by removing the lug nuts in this pattern, you will not affect the stability of the jack. bolt pattern
  5. Exchange the flat tire for the spare, and place the spare on the bolts.
  6. Tighten the lug nuts back on the wheel in the same star shaped pattern that you used to remove them.
  7. Lower the jack until your vehicle is completely grounded, and securely tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron.

Changing a flat tire is a simple and safe procedure if you are prepared and follow each of the seven steps carefully. If you're on the road, you won't have to wait for AAA or pay a towing company to bring you to a service center. However, if you've got a flat tire that you want to repair, come on down to Town Fair Tire. We'll get you patched up and back on the road in no time.

Visit our Reservation Center today to make an appointment!