Tire Rotation and Balance
Although our vehicle’s tires are built to withstand inclement weather, uneven roads, and various road obstructions, they, unfortunately, aren’t immune to sharp, unforgiving objects. We’ve all experienced a nail in the tire or maybe a pothole that was hit a bit too fast, resulting in a very flat, very frustrating flat tire. While we can’t always predict a flat tire, we certainly can be prepared. Of course, if you need help with tires in Nashville, TN, stop by Hillsboro Village Auto Service. Save money with Nashville’s #1 tire rotation and balance shop! Call and speak with us about tires and balance & rotation today!
What You’ll Need
Knowing how to change a tire is an essential skill for all drivers, no matter their age and experience on the road. Even though we can always use our phones to call roadside emergency, it’s not always wise to place full reliance on them. What if you’re in an area with poor service and can’t make a call? Or, what if its battery is dead because you forgot to charge it? Or, dare I say it, what if you forgot your phone at home? Getting in contact with roadside assistance is quite difficult when you have a dead phone and no service. To avoid this unfortunate outcome, it’s wise to know the ins and outs of changing a tire. Here’s what you’ll need to start:
- Lug Wrench
- Spare Tire (fully inflated)
- Car Jack
- Vehicle Owner’s Manual
All vehicles come with these necessary items. However, on the rare occasion you don’t own these items, be sure you purchase new ones as soon as possible. Additionally, it’s highly important that you keep your spare tire fully inflated to the recommended PSI. A spare tire with low pressure won’t help you any more than a flat one will.
Changing Your Tire
Before we dive into how to properly change your tire, it’s important to mention safety precautions. If you experience a flat tire on a busy road or highway be sure you pull off to a safe area where you’ll have ample space to change your tire. Additionally, you should engage your emergency brake, turn your car off, and place your hazards on before you get to work. Now, let’s go over how to change your tire:
- Remove the hub cap or wheel cover: If your car has a hub cap or wheel cover that covers the lug nuts, then your first step is to remove the cover. However, if you don’t have either of these features, you can go ahead and skip this step.
- Loosen the lug nuts: Using your lug wrench, you want to loosen the lug nuts by spinning them counterclockwise until they give way. Depending on how tight they are secured, you may need to put your entire body weight behind it. Some even find that using their foot for extra strength is quite helpful. Do not remove the lug nut just yet.
- Use the jack: The proper place to position your jack is beneath the frame of the vehicle on the side of the flat tire. To avoid damage to your car, look for a clear area of exposed metal–this is precisely where you will need to place the jack. This location can be found within your owner’s manual as well. Once you have the jack in the right area, start raising it until your tire is approximately six inches off the ground.
- Remove lug nuts and the tire: Now, you can full unscrew the lug nuts and remove them from the tire. Once they are off, you can remove and replace the flattened tire with your spare.
- Secure the spare: Once you have placed the spare tire on the hub, use your hands to tighten the lug nuts into place. Once you have completed this step, you can lower your vehicle via the jack and use the lug wrench to fully tighten and secure the spare. Place the hub cap or wheel cover back on your tire.
Once the hub cap is in place, put away your tool and you’re good to go. It may be tedious work, but knowing how to properly change a tire can be invaluable information in a sticky situation.