Changing a flat tire isn’t fun, and frankly, it’s a pain in the neck. The only people who might actually enjoy changing a tire would be a NASCAR pit crew or sadists. The pit crew gets paid lots of money to change tires, and they are really good at it. The best part is they do it fast, really fast, in-a-few-seconds fast. They have the best equipment, and they actually train for it, like a professional athlete. Tip of the cap to those guys. The rest of us don’t like changing tires because it takes forever, and we aren’t expecting it to happen. When it does, it throws a wrench into the entire day or night. The common mistakes made when changing a tire can be avoided, so read on and don’t make them.
Placing the Jack in a Bad Spot
Placing the jack in a safe spot is especially important. The jack can’t be put just anywhere under the car; there are specific areas it needs to be placed. Some cars have a designated spot on the underside for the jack to go. There is a depression, groove, or hole near the wheel well for the jack to go. If there’s not one, then the jack needs to go on the frame. You can feel it and see it if you lie on the ground and look. Slowly raise the jack until you feel it take the weight of the car, make sure nothing is bending, and then proceed.
Jacking the Car Too Soon
Before you even open the trunk, set the emergency brake. Once you place the jack and start to lift the car, loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire. Loosening the lugs before lifting the car will make it easier to get them off. If the wheel is off the ground, if will spin when you try to break the lugs loose, making it impossible to get them off.
Changing on an Incline
Make sure that the car is on a flat, level surface before trying to change the tire. You don’t want to lift the car on an incline of any kind. Being on an uneven shoulder is dangerous too. The car becomes unstable and can fall easily when it’s at an odd angle.
Leaving Loose Lugs
After you change the tire, replace the lugs, and lower the car, make sure the lugs are tight. Get the tire on and hand-tighten the lugs in a star pattern so that they are on evenly and can support the car. Lower the car and use the wrench to tighten them down fully, again in a star pattern. Leaving loose lugs will guarantee that the wheel will come off, and you’ll be on the side of the road again in worse shape than before.
Driving Around on the Donut
Once you swap the tires and are back on the road, drive to a tire shop and get a new tire. The spare isn’t meant to be driven on long term. It’s there to get you the tire shop in an emergency and not to put another 500 miles on it. Check out RnR Tire Express for new wheels and tires in Florence, SC. We have all the latest styles to make your car or truck the baddest on the boulevard.