It has happened to us all. You're on our way to the store or driving home from work, hit some sort of debris in the road puncturing your tire leaving you with a flat. If you're left stranded without roadside assistance to rescue you, take the following steps to change your flat tire.
If you are driving on Run Flat Tires, you may not have a spare tire on your vehicle. Run flat tires are typically safe to drive on even if there isn't any air in the tire(s) for a certain period of time at low speeds. If your run flat tire is flat, slowly and carefully drive to the closest Sullivan Tire and Auto Service or tire repair shop.
Your vehicle should always be equipped with the following items in preparation of an emergency flat tire:
- Donut or spare tire (Necessary)
- The spare tire is usually found under the floor mat of the trunk or is mounted underneath or on the back of the vehicle
- Be sure to have your spare tire serviced and inspected along with your regular tires to ensure it is properly inflated
- Jack (Necessary)
- Lug wrench (Necessary)
- Flashlight with working batteries
- Flares and reflective triangles
- Wheel wedges
How to Change a Flat Tire:
- Find a safe place to change the tire.
- Shoulder of a highway or off ramp
- Parking lot
- Quiet side street
- Preferably, a flat road
- Enable the emergency parking brake and secure your vehicle to prevent it from rolling.
- Remove the spare tire and the tools you'll need to change the tire.
- Place the flares and reflective triangles behind your vehicle leaving enough distance between you and the oncoming traffic.
- If you have wheel wedges, place these against the tires on the opposite end of the flat tire.
- Pry off the wheel cover (AKA hubcap).
- You can use a screwdriver to pry off the wheel cover by inserting the point of the screwdriver where the edge of the cover meets the wheel and it should pop off.
- You may have to do this in several areas of the wheel to loosen it.
- Loosen the lug nuts.
- Using the wrench, carefully fit it onto the first lug nut and apply your weight to the bar leaning towards the left side.
- Do not remove the lug nuts completely; loosen all of the lug nuts enough to be able to remove them by hand once your vehicle has been lifted on the jack.
- Jack up your vehicle about 6 inches off of the ground.
- Place the jack securely under your vehicle and begin to crank the jack until your vehicle is about 6 inches off of the ground.
- Check your owners manual to find out where the best spot on your vehicle is to place the jack.
- NEVER place any body part under the vehicle when the vehicle is jacked up off the ground.
- Unscrew and remove lug nuts.
- Place these in a secure place to avoid losing or misplacing them.
- Remove the flat tire and set it aside.
- Take the spare tire and align the holes in the wheel to the log bolts and push it into place.
- Put the lug nuts back on manually.
- DO NOT use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts until all four of the vehicle's wheels are securely on the ground.
- Lower the vehicle using the jack slowly. When it's fully lowered, remove the jack.
- Tighten the lug nuts using the wrench.
- Be sure to really put your weight into tightening the lug nuts to ensure they are secure and will not loosen while you're driving.
- Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to ensure proper alignment. Tightening one lug nut that's directly next to another could cause the tire to be misaligned.
- Place the wheel cover back on the wheel.
- Check your tire pressure.
- If you do not have these tools, carefully drive to the closest gas station (or Sullivan Tire and Auto Service) to have the tire pressure checked.
*These instructions are suggestions and standard practices for an emergency scenario. Sullivan Tire and Auto Service is not to be held liable or responsible in case of an accident or road emergency.
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