A very important part of being an independent woman on the road means being prepared for any situation, including unexpected car troubles. One essential skill every woman should have in her toolkit is the ability to change a tyre. Don’t let a flattie leave you stranded on the side of the road
Follow this step-by-step guide to confidently change a tyre and get back on the road in no time.
Step 1: Safety first
Before you even step out of the car to check or change a tyre, ensure your safety on the road. Pull over to a safe location, turn on your hazard lights, and park on a flat surface. Make sure your car is in park, and the handbrake is engaged. If you have reflective triangles or cones, place them behind your vehicle to alert other drivers.
If there isn’t any possibility of calling someone to stand as a lookout, rather wait until there is. You can still change the tyre independently like a boss babe, but safety is paramount. Avoid trying to change a tyre alone, especially at night.
Step 2: Gather your tools
Most cars come equipped with a spare tyre, jack, and lug wrench. Locate these items in your car’s boot before starting the process. Familiarise yourself with their locations and each tools’ function. If your car doesn’t have these tools, consider investing in a roadside emergency kit.
Step 3: Loosen the lug nuts
Before you lift the car, loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire using the lug wrench. This is crucial because it’s easier to turn the nuts when the tyre is on the ground and the car isn’t elevated. Loosen the nuts in a crisscross pattern, but don’t remove them entirely.
Step 4: Position the jack
Place the jack in the designated lift point, usually indicated in your car’s owner’s manual. Pump the jack until the flat tyre is a few inches off the ground. Be cautious not to overextend the jack, and make sure it is secure before proceeding.
Step 5: Remove the lug nuts and the flat tire
Now that the car is lifted, remove the loosened lug nuts and take off the flat tyre. Place the lug nuts in a secure location, so you don’t lose them. Roll the flat tyre away from the car to create a safe workspace.
Step 6: Install the spare tire
Position the spare tyre onto the wheel studs and hand-tighten the lug nuts. Use the lug wrench to tighten them in a crisscross pattern. Once snug, lower the car with the jack.
Step 7: Tighten the lug nuts
Now that the car is on the ground, use the lug wrench to securely tighten the lug nuts in a crisscross pattern. Ensure they are tightened evenly to prevent uneven pressure on the spare tire.
Step 8: Double-check and stow your tools
Give the lug nuts one final check to make sure they are tight. Stow away the flat tire, jack, and lug wrench back in your trunk. Don’t forget to double-check your spare tire’s pressure the next time you visit a gas station.
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