August 15, 2012

Cars, Heading Out On Your Own, Manly Skills, Visual Guides

Heading Out on Your Own — Day 15: How to Change a Flat Tire

1. Park car on flat surface, put on emergency brake and hazard lights, set up reflective warning triangle, put block on tire diagonally opposite flat tire, and remove spare tire from car (make sure it’s inflated.  2. Remove hubcap so you can get to the lug nuts. Loosen nuts with lug wrench. Don’t take any of them off yet – loosen just enough to “crack” them.  3. Place jack underneath car at a sturdy part of the frame. Check your owner’s manual for correct placement. Turn crank at end of jack by hand until it contacts the frame.  4. Add jack handle for leverage. Crank handle until wheel is high enough above the ground to remove the tire. Don’t stick your hands or legs under the car – it could fall and injure you.  5. Remove lug nuts from wheel by turning them counterclockwise, and keep them in your hubcap so they don’t roll away. Remove flat tire and lay flat. You don’t want it to roll away either.  6. Line up spare tire with wheel studs and place on car. Once wheel is on, replace lug nuts and tighten them by hand, and then with your lug wrench, until you meet firm resistance.  7. Lower jack until wheel is firmly on the ground. Finish tightening your lug nuts. To get the lug nuts on as tightly as possible, unleash the power of the star pattern.  8. Spare tires aren’t supposed to be driven on for long distances or at high speeds, so you need to drive slowly and get your flat tire fixed and replaced as soon as possible.

Maybe you have roadside assistance, maybe you don’t. Either way, every young man should know how to change a flat tire himself. You never know if you, a loved one, or even a stranger, is going to need the help.

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