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How to Change a Tire Anywhere with These Five Tips

It happens to us all at some point – that harrowing thumping sound signaling a flat tire. Depending on where you break down, changing a flat tire can be scary, or at the least a very annoying experience. To avoid disaster and make your tire changing experience nothing more than a minor inconvenience, follow our top five tips on how to change a tire.

  1. Pull over to a safe location. Although it offers no “technical” information, this is probably the most important tip when learning how to change a tire because it sets the precedent for the entire experience. If traveling on the interstate, slowly driving a few hundred additional yards to a place with better visibility for oncoming drivers can save your life. Try to pull over on the right side of the road, where slower traffic will travel. When driving in the city, pull over to a parking lot or side street with less traffic. Continuing to drive a car on a flat tire can damage the rim, but your safety is well worth the risk of a wheel that will set you back a few hundred dollars at most.
  2. Know where your tools are located. Every vehicle is sold with a spare tire (except certain models equipped with “run flat” tires. See your manual for more information) and tools to change a tire. Make sure you know where these tools are, and if you purchased the car used, make sure they are all there. If they are not, replace them as soon as possible. The necessary tools to change a tire include a jack, a tire iron to loosen the lug nuts, a lug nut key if using locking lug nuts, and the spare tire. When checking tire pressures in your tires, it is a good idea to check the pressure of the spare as well.
  3. Make yourself visible. Put on your hazard lights if you are about to change a tire so other cars can see you and know you are stopped. This keeps you safe from oncoming traffic. If you purchased or your car came with hazard triangles or flares, now would be the time to use them.
  4. Know the proper jacking point. Using the correct jacking point can help you change a tire without damaging the undercarriage of your vehicle. Most vehicles have small notches carved out near each tire to indicate the jack point.
  5. Make a tire changing kit and keep it in the vehicle. This is the best way to ensure a pleasant, worry-free tire changing experience. Aside from basic tools like the jack and tire iron, the kit can include lubricant to help loosen stubborn lugs, a flashlight for those late night tire changes, hazard triangles or flares, and a tire gauge. Hand cleaner, gloves and clean rags are also a good idea to keep the dirt and grime from the tires and wheels off your clothes and the interior of the car.

Following these five tips for how to change a tire will make you a safer, more prepared driver. Once back on the road, you can bring your flat tire in to one of The Tire Choice & Total Car Care locations to see if it can be easily, and affordably, patched. If not, we can dispose of it properly and set you up with the proper replacement based on your vehicle specifications and current tires. If you purchased your tires from us, you can take advantage of our free flat repair.


Tips and Facts

Tip: Be Safe! Pull off the road before changing a tire.
Tip: Be prepared. Make sure your spare tire has the correct air pressure and that you have all the tools you need to change a tire.
Tip: Make sure tire stops are in place to keep your vehicle from rolling or falling off the jack.
Fact: Most run-flat tires are able to operate normally at speeds lower than 50 MPH, even when punctured, for 100 miles or so.
Fact: BMW vehicles are commonly pre-equipped with run-flat tires.


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