It is such a hassle when you are driving and suddenly it appears on your dashboard that you need to check your tires. What if there’s no Subaru auto mechanic nearby? A flat tire typically shows up unexpectedly and can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if you were already running late or if you’re wearing a cocktail dress. But regardless of the situation, the basic mechanics of changing a tire are the same whether you’re working with a car, truck, van, or SUV. Here are 10 simple steps to change a tire when you’re in the middle of driving.
Find a safe place to pull over
Find a place where the ground is solid and the level is flat to keep your car from rolling. If you’re on the side of the road, pull over as far as possible and avoid stopping near any bend in the road. This reduces visibility for both you and other drivers and if you’re in a dark or scary area, carefully drive to a better spot.
Use hazard lights and parking brakes
To increase your visibility and to decrease the vehicle’s ability to roll, use your hazard lights and parking brake to keep yourself and your vehicle safe.
Check for materials
The most basic things you need are a jack, a wrench, and a spare tire. These should always be in your vehicle just in case a flat tire occurs. Better also if you have these additional items prepared to make things easier – a flashlight, gloves, mat for kneeling, rain poncho, tire gauge, and your vehicle’s manual. If you are looking for a Subaru auto mechanic who can help you check your needed material for future purposes, you can check the Subaru mechanic near me.
Loosen the lug nuts
If your vehicle has a wheel cover or a hubcap, pry it off. Next is to secure the wrench onto a lug nut and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. Repeat the process with each lug nut and make sure each one is loose enough to turn by hand.
Lift your vehicle off the ground
Put the jack under the metal portion of your vehicle’s frame. Do not place it where it will have contact with any plastic molding. The best jack placement typically depends on the vehicle so consulting the owner’s manual is the best way to learn proper jack placement. Once properly placed, use the jack to raise the tire you’re changing off the ground and ensure the jack stays perpendicular to the ground at all times.
Remove the lug nuts and the tire
Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until they are all very loose. Next is to remove them completely. Keep the lug nuts all together in a safe spot as you will need them to secure the replacement tire. With the lug nuts removed, there is nothing keeping your tire attached to the vehicle so securely grip your tire and pull it directly toward your body.
Place the spare tire on the car
Line up your holes in the spare with the lug nut posts and place the spare on the wheelbase. Push the spare as far onto the wheelbase as possible.
Replace the lug nuts
Put the lug nuts on so the spare tire stays put. Do not tighten them yet. It is important to tighten your lug nuts in a way that keeps the tire even.
Lower your vehicle and begin tightening
Using the jack, slowly lower your vehicle until your spare tire starts touching the ground. This holds the tire in place as you begin tightening the lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts in increments, alternating every other nut.
Lower your vehicle completely and finish tightening
When the lug nuts feel equally tight, completely lower your vehicle to the ground. After which, you may be able to tighten the lug nuts a little bit further. Continue your tightening in the same incremental order until they no longer budge.
Aftercare includes putting your old tire in the trunk and cleaning up any tools. But the best aftercare is still bringing your car to a Subaru mechanic near me who can check and test any further damages.