How check your tires and dealing with problems.

In the midst of my busy week I went to check in my vehicle and my tire was flat. Sigh..

If you have not fixed a tire then I have some guidance. Just a heads up, it is dirty work.

So knowing where your spare tire is can be a good thing to know before you need to use it. The fastest way to know is to check the internet. So put in the year and make and model of your vehicle and spare tire. That will likely bring up videos. It’s best to do this before you are out there without the knowledge, or worse find out you might not have a spare. I recommend practicing taking out the spare tire before you have a flat, make sure it is in good shape and has enough air pressure. You can check it with a tire gauge

My spare is mounted under my vehicle, it is a pain and it is such a challenge to get it out. 

The spare tire and the jack under the frame. So dirty, =(

Checking your tires often is a good idea, looking for cracks, bulges, bad wear areas, foreign objects and low pressure. If you have stones in the treads you can get them out with a flat head screwdriver, be careful to not gouge your tires. Scoop under it and work it out of the treads. If you have anything sharp in the tire or the sidewall is heavily cracked you might want to put on your spare and take it to a shop to inspect it. You don’t ever want to drive on a flat. You risk wrecking the rim or other parts of your vehicle or potentially being in an accident. If you have any non risk based concerns, it might be an idea to drive to your local tire shop and just ask if they could take a quick look at the possible problem. You can call the shop ahead of time to make sure they have your tire in stock. You will need the numbers and letters on the side of the tire. Here is what the numbers on the wheel mean

It is also advisable to rotate or change out your tires for the seasons every 6 months. Rotating your tires prolongs the mileage and it slows the wear on one spot..

If you are away from home find the closest safest place to pull over. Safely pulling over with a flat or blow out. Hopefully it is well lit, if you have safety equipment including a light and bright vest get that ready before you start changing the tire. You want to reduce the chance of being hit. If it doesn’t feel safe for any reason please call roadside assistance of someone trusted.

Left to right tire iron, rod to lower my spare tire and the jack

Put your equipment out and on the side that needs changing. Loosen the lug nuts but don’t fully remove them, they can be hard to get off if you have had your tires off in awhile. Then put your jack under the frame near the wheel and slowly jack it up. Once it is off the ground enough to get the tire off, take off your lug nuts and place them out of the way. Sliding the wheel off is not normally hard but the wheel is heavy and a bit awkward. Grab the spare and put it on. This part was hard for me to line the holes on the wheel with the lug nut posts. My neighbor stepped in to help. Thank you… even though I felt bad that I struggled to do it.

Put on the lug nuts just enough to get each one on. Then start to tighten tighten them. When you get them on and snugged up lower the jack and then tighten them up. Each vehicle has specs on how much they should be tightened to be safe. That is called the torque. There is a special tool available called a torque wrench that will tighten to the proper tightness.  In the meantime, tighten as much as you can with your body weight. If you are really light you might need a hand or a roadside service. It is well worth the money If you have health concerns you might not wish to take on this task. You can call a tow truck driver.

Hope your week is safe, hope to read  if you had a chance to check your tires. Have you ever had to change a tire?