I’ll never forget the day I learned the importance of learning how to change a tire. I was taking my daughter to her ballet recital, just the two of us, late one cold Saturday afternoon.. We were singing in the car, laughing, and having fun when I heard a distinct noise and felt the bump. We pulled over and I got out of the car to see what happened. I had run over a piece of metal and it had punctured the tire!

As a single mother, I knew that I needed to carry a spare tire for cases like these, however, it had been so many years since I last changed one that I hadn’t thought about this for years. I checked the time and I only had about 30 minutes to get to the ballet recital!

The first thing I did was to Google how to change a flat tire only to come to the realization that besides having an good spare, I pretty much had no other tools to work with. Then, I remembered that the usual roadside assistance service I call was only fifteen minutes from where I was, so I called them. And called them. And called them, you get the gist. I lost 10 minutes of precious time trying to contact these people. In the end, with less time and more urgency, I ended up calling Rambling Wreckers-Roanoke, a roadside assistance and towing service that I found on Google.

I was so relieved when they arrived in less than 20 minutes! My daughter and I were able to make it just in time, not to mention that they even helped refresh my knowledge in how to change a tire and were kind enough to tell which tools I’ll be needing to carry around with me from now on!

Sound familiar? This could be you!

Learning how to change a flat tire is a very valuable skill for everyone, here at Rambling Wrecker-Roanoke we strive to not only provide our customers with reliable, secure and efficient roadside assistance but also we want to educate and help you be able to deal with these situations too. Here’s how to change a flat tire.

First, these are the things you’ll need:

  • Lug wrench
  • Spare tire
  • Jack
  • Wheel wedges
  • Vehicle owner’s manual

And here’s how you’re gonna do it:

  • Pull over in a safe location. Don’t abruptly brake or turn, just reduce the speed and find an empty parking space that looks secure.
  • Turn your hazard lights on. This will let other drivers see you on the side of the road.
  • Once you’ve stopped, apply the parking brake. This will avoid the possibility of your vehicle rolling while changing the tire.
  • Apply wheel wedges on the other wheels. These go in the front or behind the tires and ensure that your car won’t roll while you’re fixing the tire. If you don’t have them, you can use bricks or large stones as well as long as they’re large and sturdy enough to stop the car from moving.
  • Remove the wheel cover. To do this, use the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the wheel cover. This will work for most cars although some have covers that require different tools. For this, you may have to consult the vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Loosen the wheel nuts (also called “lug nuts”) using the wrench and turning it counterclockwise until it begins to come loose. You may have to use your foot and body weight to accomplish this.
  • Put the jack under the car. The ideal place for this is usually behind the vehicle frame alongside the flat tire. Check the instructions on the vehicle owner’s manual for jack placement just to make sure.
  • Lift the vehicle with the jack. Remember to place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath it before attempting to raise your vehicle so that the vehicle doesn’t lose its balance.
  • Now you can unscrew the wheel nuts.
  • Take off the flat tire.
  • Mount the spare tire on the wheel bolts. Push it gently until you can see the bolts through the rim
  • Tighten the wheel nuts by hand. Yes, by hand. Don’t worry about not being strong enough, just get the bolts “finger-tight.”
  • Now lower the car until the new tire is touching the ground and tighten the wheel nuts with a wrench. See? this is how you make sure they’re correctly and tightly placed.
  • Lower the car fully to the ground and remove the jack. Make sure to check the lug nuts one more time for tightness.
  • Replace the wheel cover. you can use the same one you removed initially if it fits your new tire. If you are using a temporary spare, save the when cover for when you get you flat tire fixed and have it reinstalled.
  • Now make sure to pick up and save all your equipment. You may need it again.
  • Take a look at the new tire. Does it look like the pressure is good and safe to drive? If you think that the tire needs air added, drive slowly to a service station.

And that’s it! That’s how you can change a flat tire. As you can see, it is very simple, and anyone can do it! However, if you find that you may need some extra help, just call us! Here at Rambling Wreckers-Roanoke, we are always ready to help!

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