When one of your tires becomes flat while driving and you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, your initial instinct may be to contact a towing company to take your car to a local auto shop. Tows can be very expensive, and if you placed an extra tire inside your trunk, you should be able to put on the spare yourself to get you to an auto shop. Putting on a spare is easy, all you need to do is follow these 4 steps.
Loosen The Lug Nuts
A common mistake people make when removing the tire is to jack up the car first. When it comes to loosening the lug nuts, it's actually easier to do it when the car is sturdy on the surface. This is because you'll need to put some strength into the initial cranks to loosen each lug nut, and that can be difficult while your car is suspended on the jack. Don't worry about removing lug nuts, just loosen each one.
Jack Up The Car
Start by looking at your owner's manual in order to locate that appropriate spot to place the jack. Another mistake that is often made is placing the jack on the car's body and not the frame. If you do this, the car's body will crack when the jack starts putting pressure on it.
Your car may have specific jack points located on the side of the car between the tires, which are designed to lift the car up just enough to change a flat tire. If not, there is a spot on the axle that is usually safe for placing the jack. Continue raising the car until the tire is off of the ground completely.
Remove The Flat Tire
Now you can continue removing all of the tire's lug nuts. You'll notice the car is not as sturdy when doing this, so be very careful with how much pressure you apply. Be sure to place those lug nuts in a safe place when you've finished removing them, since you'll need them to secure the spare tire to your car.
Install The Spare Tire
The wheel on the spare tire will line up to the bolts on the car perfectly. Then put the lug nuts on the tire, hand tightening them as tightly as you can. You will then tighten them with the wrench using a star pattern when moving across the 5 lug nuts. This helps apply an even amount of pressure across the wheel.
All that's left is to lower the car off the jack. Now you can drive to your local auto shop such as Integrity Auto and Truck and purchase a new tire for your car.