How to change a flat tire

How to change a flat tireChanging a flat tire is never an enviable job, but it is a useful skill to have and will make you a hero if you can execute it. We here at Suburban Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Troy are happy to tell you how to do it.

Keep an eye on your spare tire’s air pressure. Ask us to check it next time you’re in, or check the air pressure yourself next time you’re at the gas station. You don’t want to get a flat only to find you have a deflated or under-inflated spare.

First, please put safety first. Not all places are appropriate for changing a tire. For instance, if you’re stranded on a highway off-ramp, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and call a tow truck to move you someplace safe or let them change your tire for you.

Set your vehicle in gear if it’s a manual or park if it’s an automatic, and set your parking brake. Locate and remove your spare tire. It’s usually somewhere in the trunk for sedans and wagons. For trucks and SUVs, it may be underneath the back of the vehicle. Our Caravans and Town and Country minivans have them hidden under the floor, under the front seats. If you can’t locate it, check your manual.

You should have a tire iron in your trunk, along with your jack. Remove your wheel cover or hub cap, and use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts, one at a time, about one-half turn. It’s important that the wheel in question be on the ground for this part.

Once the lug nuts are loose, ensure that the surface underneath your jack is solid. If it’s muddy or spongy, move your car to firmer ground. Refer to your owner’s manual to find out where the jack points are. Once you’ve determined the right place to put the jack, proceed to jack the vehicle up.

Loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way, remove them, and then the wheel. Replace it with your spare, and gently thread the lug nuts back on, by hand so you don’t damage the threads. From there, tighten them with the tire iron so they’re snug, and lower the vehicle to the ground.

Once your tire is in the air, apply about 100 pounds of torque to each lug nut, in a criss-cross pattern. If you weigh 150 pounds, think of using about two-thirds of your weight, pressing about 12 inches up the handle of the tire iron.

Remember: Spare tires are just that; they’re usually rated for 50 miles at no more than 50 mph, so it’s best to take your flat in for repair at the earliest possible time.

We wish you safe motoring, and come down and see us at Suburban Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Troy for a tire check!


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