The knowledge you have with your vehicle can save you more than you imagine. Especially knowing how to fix a flat tire or how to change a flat tire never goes in vain. So, from this article you will learn everything regarding a flat tire; from knowing how to change a flat tire, how long does it take to change a tire and how to fix a flat tire and much more.
So let’s start.
First, let’s learn how we know that we got a flat tire.
You might feel the speed of your vehicle slows down. And you will hear an odd grinding sound from your vehicle, and you will slightly lose the control of your steering wheel. So, if you get any of these signs, it’s better to slow down the vehicle. Don’t turn or hit sudden brakes. Turn on the emergency lights and simply slow down the vehicle and find a safe and spacious spot and park your car.
Ok, so now you know the most common warning signs if you have a flat tire. Now, let’s see what are the tools we are going to need to change a flat tire.
The tools you need most are
- Jack – it’s better if you have a hydraulic floor jack because it’s more stable.
- A lug wrench
- A spare tire (you need to check the condition of the tire before using it)
- Wheel wedges
- A flashlight
- A raincoat (who believes weather forecast these days?)
- An air compressor
- A repair kit (with plugs)
- Manual guide of the vehicle
Now let’s learn the most important part; how to change a flat tire.
After you realized that you got a flat tire, park your vehicle in a safe place where you are not disturbed by other vehicles. And your parking shouldn’t trouble the passing vehicle either.
Step 1 – After parking the vehicle, make sure to use parking brakes. And, use the wheel wedges behind the non-flatten tires to make your vehicle stop moving.
Step 2 – If your vehicle has hub caps, first remove them. Sometimes, the lug wrench won’t help you to remove the hub caps. So to avoid any issue, read the manual first and check the tool you need to remove the hub caps.
Step 3 – Loosen the lug nuts using the lug wrench, but DO NOT remove them. You must remove the lug nuts after placing the jack. So, just loosen them for now.
Step 4 – Place your jack under your vehicle and lift about six inches. For this step, you need to find the jacking point of your vehicle because it varies according to the vehicle. So before lifting the vehicle, make sure you found the correct spot. And be sure that you have inserted the jack exactly to the spot.
Step 5 – Remove the lug nuts completely.
Step 6 – Pull the tire and keep it on the floor.
Step 7 – Place the spare wheel aligning with the lug bolts.
Step 8 – Tighten the lug nuts.
Step 9 – Slowly lower your vehicle to the ground but do not give the full weight to the vehicle yet.
Step 10 – Now tighten the lug nuts completely, and you have to make sure that they are tightened enough to use the vehicle again. And I recommend you to double-check the tightening process of the lug nuts.
Step 11 – Lower your vehicle to the ground and remove the jack.
Step 12 – Confirm that the replaced tire has enough tire pressure before driving.
Keep in your mind, after replacing the tire by yourself, take the vehicle to a garage. From this, you can check if there’s any other issue with your vehicle.
When it comes to having a flat tire, the first idea you’d get is to contact a mechanic. Why, because we want to get done with the task without much effort.
So, when it comes to having a flat tire, the first thing that comes to your mind is, how long does it take to change a tire.
It varies from person to person. If you have prior experience in changing tires, then changing a flat tire would be a piece of cake for you. But if this is the first time, it will take some time.
But, if you have the right equipment with you, you don’t need to worry about how long does it take to change a tire. But, if you take your vehicle to an expert, it will take lesser time to fix a flat tire. I would say probably 15 to 20 minutes.
So, now you have a sound knowledge of how to change a flat tire. But, the real game is to know that you are going to have a flat tire before you actually face it. Let’s learn how to avoid issues beforehand.
Checking the conditions of your tires regularly could save your money and your energy. It takes some time for a tire to wear off. So, if you had a tire checkup once in a while, you’d know that you have to replace your tire soon.
Another thing you can do is to check the tire pressure once in a while. It would be best if you keep the pressure of the tire with the recommended pressure level.
You can check the tires to make sure they are free from any cuts, punctures, cracks or any other damage. If you see any damage in a tire, you need to fix it before using the vehicle again. You might consider a small puncture in a tire as something very insignificant. But, if things get out of control, there a higher risk that a flat tire can blow up if you use it without replacing. So, even there is a slight change in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to take advice from an expert.
The front tires of a vehicle carries more weight. The weight of the brake system solely falls on the rear tires. So, it’s better to change the tires every six months.
And by looking at the wear bar on your tire, you can understand the condition of the tire. If the wear bar is in the equal level with the tire tread, it means that it’s high time you replaced the tire.
How to fix a leak in a tire
Now let’s assume that things are not serious with the flat tire. It means, there is a small patch in the tire which causes a leak, and you don’t necessarily have to use your spare wheel.
What can we do in a situation like this?
First, according to the given guidelines, remove the flat tire.
Then, find where the leak is. You might hear a hissing sound from the leak or, if it’s not apparent, you can spray soap water to the tire. The place where air leaks causes bubbles when it is in contact with soap water. So, you can easily identify the spot where the air leaks.
In your repair kit, you will find a plug to fix the leak. First, use any adhesives from the kit and apply it in the spot. Then take the plug and insert it leaving 2 inches outside the tire.
Let the adhesive dry and cut the excess part of the plug.
You can check whether the air still escapes from using the given methods.
Finally, reattach the tire and take your car to a garage because this is only a temporary solution for your tire.