No matter how hard you try to prevent it, you’ll experience a flat tire once in a while. When that happens, you may decide to call for roadside assistance. But what happens if it occurs in an area that is not safe or when you are in a hurry?
What if it happens in the middle of the night, say around 1 am? You either have to wait till morning or change the tire yourself. This is why every driver should have an idea on how to change the tire of a truck or other vehicles.
This article gives you necessary information on how to change flat tires. So, without further ado, here are the necessary tips on changing a flat tire.
Items You Should Have In Your Trunk
Do you think all the items that come with your car are all you need in your car? No. There are several other items that do not come with your car but you need them. Jack, lug wrench, fully inflated spare tire, and vehicle owner’s manual are very important in a car and they usually come with it. What will not come with your car are:
- Wheel wedge
- A pair of gloves
- Small flat piece of wood to secure your jack
- Rain poncho necessary for checking your car in the rain.
- Flashlight with working batteries if you have to fix something in your car when it’s dark.
Steps Involved In Changing a Flat Tire
Step 1: Move the car to a safe location
When you notice that you have a flat tire, don’t just stop suddenly. Keep moving to a location that is spacious and safe. You need enough space to stay out of the road completely and reduce the chances of an oncoming vehicle hitting your truck or brushing past it.
You also need a level ground. If the ground is sloped, your car may roll forward or backward. Don’t change your tire on a narrow stretch of the road or near a curve. Remember, whatever you do, think of safety first.
If a safe spot is far away from where you are, try and move there while turning on your hazard light so that other motorists will be aware that you have a problem.
We understand that going far on a flat tire could damage your rim. Nevertheless, having a damaged rim is better and cheaper than being hit by a careless driver.
Step 2: Apply your parking brake
It is advisable to apply your parking brake before you get out of your car to change your tire. This is also for safety reasons. It will reduce the chances of having your vehicle roll forward or backward.
You can also support the parking brake with wheel wedges. Apply them in the front and at the back of at least two of the other three tires. This ensures that the vehicle does not start rolling as you jack it up.
Step 3: Use your wheel spanner to loosen the nuts
After applying wedges, you can now loosen the nuts of the flat tire with your wheel spanner. The nuts are usually about 5 to 6 in numbers.
For many trucks, you’ll need to remove the hubcap or wheel cover to be able to access the nuts. Remember, you only need to loosen the nuts partially before raising the vehicle up with a jack. After that, you can remove them completely.
Step 4: Place the jack under the vehicle
This is where a lot of people make mistakes. You need to place the jack under the vehicle, very close to the tire that you intend to raise. When positioning the jack, it has to be under a frame and not just the body.
It is a metal frame that can raise the body. If you place on any other part of the vehicle, it may cave in as you jack up the vehicle.
Well, there are jacks that you insert into an opening near the tire. That is the best kind of jack for trucks. You don’t have to raise the vehicle so high.
You only need to raise it enough for the flat tire to be suspended in the air enough for you to remove it and fix the extra tire easily.
Step 5: Now, raise the vehicle
The next thing to do now is to keep winding the jack to raise the vehicle gradually. Once the flat tire is suspended in the air, you can stop raising it.
You should never leave any part of your body under the vehicle when it is resting on the jack. It is not uncommon for jacks to suddenly go flat while a car is on them. So, don’t over-trust your jack.
Step 6: Loosen the nuts completely and remove the tire
Now, you can loosen the nuts completely and remove the flat tire. After that, fit your extra tire and tighten the nuts partially.
Step 7: Wind the jack in opposite direction to lower it
Now, you can begin to lower the car by winding the jack in opposite direction. If you wound it in clockwise direction to raise the car, you’ll have to wind it in counterclockwise direction to lower it until the newly fitted tire touches the ground.
Step 8: Tighten the nuts completely
When the tire touches the ground, you can tighten its nuts completely and remove the jack. Make sure you keep both your jack and wheel spanner in the place so you won’t have to look for them when next you need them.
You can take the flat tire to the technician who will fix it and fit it back to its rightful position. However, if he says that the tire is no longer usable, you should change it.
If the flat tire is a back tire, replace it with one of the front tires and fit the new one in front. It is for safety reasons. Your best tires need to be in front.
Now that you learnt how to change the tire of a truck, it is better to let you know that it may feel difficult the very first time. After doing it a couple of times, you will master the steps and it will be much easier. It should not take more than 15 to 30 minutes to change the tire of your truck.