We’ve talked about the importance of roadside assistance services before and how to find a good one, but sometimes you just don’t want to wait. While calling an expert is the safest route, a little education on how to do it yourself couldn’t hurt.
A dead battery, leaking tire and other minor problems might be fixable yourself quicker than a truck could get to you, and most cars come equipped with the jack and other tools you’ll need to fix a flat yourself. It’s actually one of the few things you can do yourself without needing the specialized tools of a mechanic.
Changing Your Tire
If you feel your tire pop, try to find a safe spot on the road to pullover. If you just found your car with a flat tire one morning in your driveway, you’re already there. Since you’ll be using the jack to raise your car, you’ll want to be on a flat surface.
With your car’s tool kit to change tires, you should find a jack and a lug wrench usually in the trunk or back of your vehicle. You’ll use the wrench to loosen the bolts on the flat tire. Depending on your car, you might have to remove a hubcap first. Don’t completely remove the bolts, just loosen them.
With the lose wheel, use the jack to life the vehicle off the ground. Different models have different spots to place the jack, so consult your owner’s manual for specifics. Once you’re in the right spot, raise the car about six inches off the ground.
Once the car is raised, remove the flat tire and replace it with your spare. When you put on the new tire, make sure not to tighten the lug nuts too tightly until you have the car back on the ground.
When you have the car back on the ground and are tightening the wheel, you’ll want to tighten them in a specific order. Instead of moving in a circle, you want to tighten lug nuts across from each other. If you think of the lug nuts laid out on a clock, you’ll tighten 12 then 6, 9, then 3 and follow that pattern until you have them all secure.
Double Check with a Mechanic
At this point, you should be safe to drive. It’s almost always worth it to make your next stop a mechanic to have him look over your work. Besides making sure the tire is on tight, he’ll probably want to do a tire rotation to make sure the wheels are in alignment and riding properly.
But as I said earlier, the safest way to make sure your flat tire gets fixed is to leave it to an expert. It’s also dangerous to work on cars roadside, so sometimes a tow to a garage is the best way to go. Call ASAP Towing today so we can help you decide on the roadside assistance solution that fits you best.
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