How to Change a Tire

Dawson Barnard

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Turning 16 and getting a driver’s license is one of the highlights of many students’ highschool careers.  Having a license and vehicle ownership comes with many responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is vehicle maintenance. Being able to change a tire can be the difference between an expensive bill from a towing company and a minor inconvenience.

Changing a tire is a simple skill that everyone with a license should have.  It is a skill that can be invaluable on road trips or even the simple commute to work or school.  If travelling on the road, the first step to changing a tire is safely merging to the shoulder and turning hazard lights on to notify other drivers of a stationary vehicle.

The next step is locating the owner’s manual, usually stored in the glove box, because it contains the location of the tire iron, spare tire, and jack.  Once found, the lug nuts holding the tire on have to be removed. A common trick for removing lug nuts by hand is to stand, and sometimes jump, on the tire iron.  

Once all the lug nuts have been loosened, find where the jacking locations are under the car and raise the car into the air.  It is important to stay out from under the vehicle while changing a tire in case the jack fails. With the car in the air, fully remove the lug nuts and tire, replacing it with the spare.  Then, hand tighten the lug nuts. With the lug nuts on the car, lower and remove the jack. Finally, use the tire iron to tighten the lug nuts.

Now the tire has been successfully changed.  It is important to have the vehicle’s normal wheel and tire repaired as soon as possible, because the spare is not meant to be driven on full time.  By completing the job, major bills have been avoided, and the drive can be continued.

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