If you think you should know how to change your truck’s tire but don’t, you’re not the only one. While most people seem to be under the assumption every adult with a driver’s license should know how to change a flat, recent studies prove otherwise.
A recent study showed sixty percent of American adults don’t know how to change their tire. More than twenty percent of those said they were completely clueless and lacked any confidence in their ability to carry out the task.
The good news? Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, and most Americans reported being comfortable following directions. If you’re looking for essential steps to changing out your flat tire, continue reading below.
1. Pull off the Road and Get Safe
The first thing you should do when you get a flat tire is to pull as far off the road as possible. If you’re near a parking lot, try pulling in there. If it’s not possible, try moving to the far side of the shoulder.
Once you’ve pulled off the road, get safe. This means becoming as visible as possible at that moment. Turn your vehicle’s hazards on, and keep your truck door open.
If you have road flares, light one and place it a safe distance behind your truck. The idea is to become visible enough that other vehicles will avoid where you’re working on your flat tire.
2. Gather Your Tools Next to the Flat Tire
Gather the tools you need and place them near where you’ll be changing the flat tire. You don’t want to have to stop and find something once you’ve started.
At a minimum, you’ll need a lug wrench, car jack, and a spare tire. If you want to wear gloves, you can. You may also want a flashlight if it’s dark, and WD40 if the lug nuts are difficult to turn.
3. Loosen the Lug Nuts
Use your wrench to loosen the lug nuts, but don’t remove them yet. Turn them to the left until they’re loose enough so you can finish with your fingers. If they’re difficult to turn, you can spray a small amount of WD40 onto each lug nut before turning them.
4. Jack the Car up and Remove the Flat
Find the appropriate spot to place your car jack. The right location is different for each vehicle. If you don’t already know where to place your car jack, check your vehicle’s owner manual.
Slowly lift the vehicle just enough that you can change your tire. One to two inches off the ground is generally enough to do what you need to.
Once the vehicle has been lifted, finish removing the lug nuts. Place them in a safe spot where they don’t get lost because you’ll need them again soon.
Remove your flat tire by pulling it directly towards you. Your hands should be near the center of the tire, so it comes off evenly.
5. Place the Spare on and Replace Lug Nuts
Line the holes in your spare tire up and slide it on. You may need to wiggle the spare a little to get it on.
Once the spare tire is on, retrieve your lug nuts and twist them into place. Don’t tighten them all the way. Only tighten the lug nuts as much as you can on your own without using the wrench.
6. Lower the Car and Tighten Lug Nuts
Slowly lower the vehicle back to the ground. Then, tighten the lug nuts halfway in a crisscross pattern using the wrench. Once all nuts are fifty percent tightened, go back and tighten the nuts all the way using the same pattern.
7. Clean up and Find a Gas Station
Your job isn’t finished once the spare tire is on. Start by making sure you retrieve all your tools and put them back in your vehicle. Place the flat tire into the trunk of your truck.
Once you’re back on the road, drive your vehicle slow. Most spare tires aren’t meant to go over fifty miles per hour.
Find a gas station that provides air as soon as possible. When you pull in, check the spare you just put on. Ensure that it’s still safely mounted and hasn’t gotten shaky or loose during your drive.
Chances are high that your spare tire isn’t at the right tire pressure since they usually aren’t when you first put them on. Check your tire pressure using the air machine. Inflate until the spare is at the right pressure, as stated by the manufacturer.
An Important Note: Spare Tires Are Temporary Fixes
While a spare tire can be a lifesaver when you get a flat, it’s only meant to be a temporary fix. You shouldn’t ride on a spare any longer than necessary, because they aren’t meant for long-term use.
After getting a flat, you want to get a new road tire placed on your truck as soon as possible. In an ideal world, you won’t use your flat for more than a few hours. However, if necessary, you can use one for a few days if you remember to drive slowly.
Do You Have More Questions About Changing a Flat Tire on Your Truck?
The seven essential steps listed above can help you safely and effectively change a flat tire. Remember, a spare tire is only a temporary fix, and shouldn’t be used any longer than necessary.
Do you have more questions about changing a flat tire on your truck? Or do you need a new road tire mounted on your diesel truck?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can also set you up an appointment to have a new tire mounted if desired.