Tips And Tricks

Tire Changing Tips

Tire Changing Tips

When you have to change a tire, it’s often not under the best of conditions. It’s seldom done in your garage or your own driveway. More often than not, you’re in the breakdown lane of a busy highway or in a grocery-store parking lot. So the situation is bound to be a little stressful. Here are a few tips you can use to help prepare you for the inevitable.

Before you do anything, put your car into “park” or “neutral,” and activate your emergency brake. Open your trunk and look underneath the lid. Oftentimes, there’s information there that can guide you in changing the tire. It’s also a good idea to keep a flat piece of plywood in the bottom of your trunk to put under the jack when lifting the car. Since it’s flat, it won’t take up much room, and it will support the jack better than hot blacktop or uneven terrain.

Before you start jacking up the car, secure the wheels with a chock from your trunk. If you have all the necessary tools in your trunk - lug wrench, screwdriver, penetrating oil, and a rubber hammer - in addition to the jack, chock, and plywood, the entire self auto repair job should go much more easily.

Use the screwdriver to remove the hubcap. Then loosen the lug nuts with the lug wrench. The penetrating oil can be used on the lug nuts if they are stuck. Take all these steps before jacking up the car.

Refer to your owner’s manual for the best spot in which to position the jack. Again, look for specific instructions on this under the trunk lid. Don’t jack the car up too high. You just need the wheel to clear the ground. Once the car is lifted, do not crawl underneath it for any reason. Change the tire and turn the lug nuts by hand, and then lower the car gently and slowly. Tighten the nuts with the lug wrench, and then use the rubber hammer to be sure the hubcap is on securely.

Your spare may be the treadless type or undersized. It is designed specifically for short-term use. If this is the case, proceed slowly to the nearest gas station or to your home if you are close. Do not drive quickly or go long distances on this tire. Have the flat tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible whether it is with us in Vista, CA, Oceanside, CA, or anywere else.