We have things we take for granted and we never imagine a day when we may need it. For example we all love driving cars but very few women know how to change a tyre. We all have that one person we call for emergence cases but what if one day you get stranded and there is no help? These days especially in Zimbabwe there are a lot of robberies and considering the high cost of living there are things you can do by yourself, like change a tyre.
First things first they are necessities that you need that usually with your car but if you don’t get them when you purchase it is essential that you buy yours. Things like Jack, Lug Wench, Fully inflated, spare tyre and Vehicle Owner’s Manual.
Other things you won’t get when you get a car but are necessary flashlight with working batteries in case it’s dark and the traffic lights are not well lit. You may need a rain coat or umbrella in case its rains but a small cut of wood is good for securing the jack and you may also need gloves.
Basic steps in changing your car
1. Find safe location- First things first you should find the safest place that enables you enough space to fix your tire without inconveniencing others.
2. Turn on Your Hazard Lights
Your hazard lights or “flashers” will help other drivers see you on the side of the road. To avoid an accident, turn them on as soon as you realize you need to pull over.
3. Apply the Parking Brake
As always when parking your car you should apply our Parking Brake to avoid your car rolling over.
4. Apply Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges are to be placed in from or behind the tire`s so the vehicle doesn’t roll while you fix the flat tire. If you’re changing a rear tire, place these in front of the front tires. If your flat tire is at the front, put the wheel wedges behind the rear tires. Bricks or large stones can work as an improvise of Wheel Wedges.
5. Remove the Hubcap or Wheel Cover
If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack. If your lug nuts are exposed, you can skip ahead to Step 6.Use the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the hubcap. This will work for most vehicles, but some hubcaps need a different tool to come off. Consult your owner’s manual for proper hubcap or wheel cover removal procedures.
6. Loosen the lug nuts
Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counter clockwise until you break their resistance. You may have to use force, and that’s ok. Use your foot or all of your body weight if necessary.
7. Place the Jack under the Vehicle
The jack should be placed beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tire that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have molded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack. To safely lift and avoid damage to the vehicle, follow the instructions for jack placement in your vehicle owner’s manual. (That’s why it’s essential you have your vehicles manual.)
8. Raise the Vehicle with the Jack
To prevent the jack from settling under the weight of your vehicle and coming off balance, place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath it before attempting to raise your vehicle. This tactic is especially helpful on asphalt. With the jack properly positioned, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is about six inches above the ground. Never put any part of your body under the vehicle during or after raising the vehicle with the jack.
9. Unscrew the Lug Nuts
Now it’s time to remove the lug nuts all the way. Since you’ve already loosened them, you should be able to unscrew them mostly by hand.
10. Remove the Flat Tire
Gripping the tire by the treads, pull it gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.
11. Mount the Spare Tire on the Lug Bolts
Now place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the lug bolts. Push gently until the lug bolts show through the rim.
12. Tighten the Lug Nuts by Hand
Put the lug nuts back on the lug bolts and tighten them all the way by hand. Once they are all on, check each one again, tightening as much as possible. You will tighten them with the wrench after lowering the vehicle to the ground.
13. Lower the Vehicle and Tighten the Lug Nuts Again
Use the jack to lower the vehicle so that the spare tire is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t fully on the tire. At this point, you should tighten the lug nuts with the wrench, turning clockwise, as much as you can. Push down on the lug wrench with the full weight of your body.
14. Lower the vehicle completely
Bring the vehicle all the way to the ground and remove the jack. Give the lug nuts another pull with the wrench to ensure they’re as tight as possible.
15. Replace the Hubcap
If the hubcap you took from the flat tire will fit your spare, put it in place the same way you removed it initially. If it doesn’t fit, stow it away with the tire when you stow your equipment.
17. Check the Pressure in the Spare Tire
You should check the tire pressure of the spare tire to make sure that it is safe to drive on.
18. Take Your Flat Tire to a Technician
Temporary spare tires aren’t made to drive long distances or at high speeds, so drive cautiously until you’re able to visit a tire technician. A professional should be able to determine whether your tire needs a repair or if it’s time to replace it.