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How to Put On a Spare Tire: Your Guide in 2022

How to Put On a Spare Tire

Relying on your phone in the event of a roadside emergency may put you into more trouble. Learning how to change a flat tire with a spare one can save your day (and your car!). 

If you ever find yourself in this situation, steer and park your car in a safe place. Ensure that you have ample space to move around without the danger of being hit by other vehicles.

Turn on the emergency lights so that other drivers know to pass slowly when you are putting on the spare tire. 

In addition, place a warning sign behind your car to alert other drivers about the situation. When you fulfill all the prerequisites to change a flat tire safely on the road, it’s time to pull out the supplies you’ll while changing your tire and get to work. 

The article enlists the complete procedure on how to change a tire. Before we dive into the process, let’s start with what you will need to begin. 

What You’ll Need to Change a Tire

You will need a small repair kit with the right equipment to change your car tire efficiently without wasting any time. Before you take off on a road trip in your own vehicle or a rental car, make sure you have:

  • The vehicle owner’s manual

  • A lug wrench and lug nuts

  • A fully inflated spare tire

  • A car-jack (most include a built-in wrench)

The spare tire, jack, and wrench are likely in the boot space of your car. Most vehicles store the tire and equipment beneath the trunk floor. The tire can be heavy, so lift it carefully and put it down gently near the tire you want to change. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing a Spare Tire

Most of the time, drivers are not aware of the process of changing a flat tire with a new tire. Let’s walk through the complete process step-by-step. 

1. Pull over safely

Upon realizing you have a flat tire, immediately locate a safe place, slowly pull your vehicle to the side of the road, and turn the hazard lights on. Do not lift the vehicle brake abruptly. Instead, put the parking brake on so that the oncoming traffic can see you.  

Avoid changing the full-size spare tire on curves or narrow roads. Level ground or an empty parking lot can be the best place to stop. Driving on a flat tire can ruin the rim. However, it’s better than changing the tire on a risky road edge where you risk getting hit by other vehicles. 

So, keep driving your car slowly until you find a safe spot. After you park your car, take out the owner’s manual to read the steps on how to change a flat tire. 

2. Place wheel wedges

Take out the wheel wedges from the car trunk and place them either in front or behind the tires so that the vehicle won’t roll when you are changing the tire. 

You need to insert wheel wedges under the opposite tires to the one you are changing. For example, place the wheel wedges on the front side of the front tires if you are changing a rear wheel. Alternatively, if the front tires are at fault, the wheel wedges will go under the rear tires.  

If you do not have wheel wedges, you can use large rocks or sticks. Just be careful and watch for sharp parts that may puncture the tires. 

3. Remove wheel cover or hubcap

Once the wheel wedges are in place, the next step is to remove the hubcap. Here, you need to identify the type of hubcap you have, such as pop-on hubcaps, bolt-on caps, or screw-on caps.  Check the owner’s manual to ensure you properly remove the hubcap or wheel cover. Before you remove the hubcap, make sure to turn off the car.  

The flat end of a lug wrench works to remove the hubcap on most vehicles. However, some wheel covers require a different tool. If your jack has a built-in lug wrench, remove it to loosen the hubcap of the damaged tire.

4. Use the jack to raise the vehicle

Place the jack stands beneath the frame in close proximity to the damaged tire to lift the vehicle off of the road. Check if your car has a molded plastic coating on the bottom and if there is a dedicated metal-coated space for placing the jack. 

Do this carefully. Avoid moving too fast as the jack could collapse, which may damage the vehicle or even cause injury to you. Follow the vehicle owner’s manual instructions for placing the jack properly.  

Once the jack is placed, turn it clockwise to lift the tire a few inches above the ground. When your vehicle is jacked up, avoid putting your hands or any body part under the car.  

5. Remove lug nuts

After lifting the vehicle using a jack, the next step is to remove the lug nuts that you have loosened previously using the lug wrench. 

Using your wrench, carefully loosen the lug nuts if you haven’t unscrewed them yet. If you are facing trouble while loosening the nut, kneel down to gain a better hold on the lug wrench.

Take off all the lug nuts and place them in a safer spot where you can easily pick them up and put them back on later.

6. Remove the flat tire

Remove the tire carefully from the car and lay it down on the level ground so that it won’t roll over and hurt anyone. Handle the tire carefully since it is likely to be heavy. 

You’ll want to keep the flat tire with you to get it repaired from the garage later when you reach your destination. 

7. Put the spare tire in place

Next, you need to place the spare tire onto the wheel by aligning it with the lug bolts. Place the nuts that you have removed in the previous step back on the bolts. 

Use the lug wrench to tighten the nuts by turning them clockwise. Before proceeding to the next step, use your hands to carefully check if the nuts are tightened properly. 

8. Carefully lower vehicle 

You’re almost there. Now, use the jack to lower the vehicle partway by turning the handle counterclockwise. Once the spare tire is placed properly, tighten the lug nuts with the wrench to ensure that they are tightened enough.

9. Place vehicle on the ground 

Slowly lower the vehicle completely back to the ground and remove the jack completely. Use the lug wrench to screw the lug nuts tight.

Cross-checking the lug nuts multiple times will prevent you from any unforeseen danger. This way, you can rest assured that the spare tire is fixed properly and the vehicle is drivable

10. Replace hubcap or wheel cover

Now, it’s time to put the hubcap back. Put it back in the same manner as you have removed it initially. 

If you find it difficult to place the hubcap correctly, stow it away safely with the tire and other equipment. Ask the repair shop to place the hubcap back on when you drop off the flat tire. 

11. Check tire pressure 

Make sure the spare tire has enough pressure in it before pulling away to ensure safe driving. For example, the mini-spares or the T-type spare tires need 60psi.

If the tire needs air pressure, slow down and drive your car to the nearest service station once you’re back on the road. Keep in mind that a spare tire is not meant to drive at high speed or for long distances, so change it later with a regular tire. 

12. Store equipment back in the vehicle 

Clean up equipment and store it back in the vehicle for future use before you leave the spot. Place the old tire, lug wrench, hub cap, jack, or other equipment in the car trunk.

Kudos! You have changed your flat tire successfully. You are all done! 

Enjoy Quality Tires with AVR Rentals

It can feel like a major hassle to deal with a flat tire situation that emerges suddenly when you are on a trip with your family. However, changing a flat tire is quite a simple task, and you can do it without contacting roadside assistance. 

Book your car rental with AVR Rentals and get quality tires to avoid such exasperating situations. Contact us today to reserve a full-features car rental for your next trip. 

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