how to safely change a flat tire
Length: 525 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)
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While changing a flat tire may seem to be simple enough, there are some safety tips you should know first.
„h Always park on level ground away from oncoming traffic.
„h Always place the gear shift lever in park or in gear in the case of a manual transmission.
„h Always set the emergency brake and remove the keys from the ignition.
After you have completed each of these procedures you will be ready to change the flat.
Step 1: Remove the jack, spare tire and lug wrench. To prevent personal injury, remove the spare before raising the vehicle.
Step 2: Remove the wheel cover by prying it away from the rim using the flat end of the lug wrench. If your vehicle is equipped with custom wheel covers or locking lug nuts, consult the owner's manual for proper removal instructions.
Step 3: Next loosen each lug nut two full turns. Never remove the lug nuts completely during this step.
Step 4: Following the instructions on the jack or in the owner's manual, place the jack under the vehicle as recommended by the car's manufacturer. Then raise the tire approximately two inches from the ground. This will allow enough room to remove the flat and replace it with the spare. WARNING: Never place your hands or feet under the vehicle or tire once it has been raised.
Step 5: Now remove all of the lug nuts. When removing the lug nuts place them inside the wheel cover. This will make it easier to find them to put them back on. If you have trouble loosening a stubborn lug nut, spray it with WD-40 and let it set for about two minutes. This will help make the job easier.
Step 6: Next remove the flat tire from the working area. Flat on the ground behind your car is the best place as this will help prevent it from rolling into traffic and it will be out of the way as well.
Step 7: Place the spare tire onto the hub by holding the outer sides of the tire. Never place your hands in the center of the rim or under the tire.
Step 8: Put each of the lug nuts back on with the tapered end of the nut facing the rim. When they are all on, make sure they are snug, not tight. This is just to help align the rim to the hub and hold the tire in place until the car is lowered.
Step 9: Now lower the tire to the ground and fully tighten the lug nuts. During this step you will want to use a cris-cross pattern. This will help assure that the lug nuts are tight and that the rim is properly aligned to the hub. After you have completed changing a flat tire, put the lug wrench, flat tire, jack and wheel cover back into the trunk. As soon as possible, have a mechanic recheck the lug nuts and place the wheel cover back on.
Never drive a car without a good spare tire. Get the flat replaced as soon as possible