There is nothing drivers dread more than the sound of rubber flapping on asphalt.
Typically, the first reaction to a flat tire is disbelief, followed by annoyance and then a quick phone call to a towing company.
But what happens when there is no phone signal and no tow truck in sight? Emily Chung, a licensed mechanic, and the brand ambassador for Hankook Tire Canada, gives us five easy steps to changing a flat for a spare:
1. Look ahead: Most car manufacturers include with the vehicle all the essential tools needed to change a tire. Inspect that the equipment is not only where it should be, but also that it’s in good working order – before you need it. Not sure what you need? Here’s a quick check list: a spare tire, a diamond jack, a tire iron, a pair of gloves and a flashlight.
2. Get loose: You need to do a little prep before you get to work. Start by loosening the lug nuts. These small pieces of metal keep tires attached to the car so they’re typically screwed on very tightly. You’re going to need a tire iron and a little elbow grease to get this done.
3. Lift it up: Here’s where the heavy lifting takes place, but luckily not by you. Place the diamond jack under the frame of the vehicle. Many new vehicles have a designated slot for this, so take some time to ensure the jack is secured. Begin by twisting the lever and continue until the vehicle is high enough that the tire can be easily removed. You don’t need to get under the vehicle at any point in this process.
4. Make the switch: Remove the loosened lug nuts and slide the flat off. Lift the spare onto the vehicle and align the holes of the rims with the bolts of the tire. Position the tire into place and begin to screw on the lug nuts with your hands as far as you can. Next, lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the jack. Once the vehicle has been lowered, use the tire iron to tighten the bolts in a diagonal pattern as tightly as possible without stripping the thread.
5. Change it up: "Spare tires are not meant to be a permanent replacement," says Chung. "They’re typically smaller and less equipped to deal with the demands of the road. So you only want to use the spare to get you to your mechanic or auto shop in order to get your allseason tires back on." More information can be found at www.hankooktire.ca.