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There is no way to help you prevent a flat tire as it can happen at any given time and anywhere. The most common reason why you’d get a flat tire would be a puncture caused by a sharp object. This is why you should drive around debris on the road or a parking lot. A faulty or damaged valve stem could also be the reason for a flat tire since it causes air to start leaking. Sometimes air can start leaking from the tire beads too and to check whether or not this is happening you can spray the wheels with soapy water. In case a stream of small bubbles appears, then you definitely have air escaping the tire. One sure way to get rid of a flat tire is to replace it with a spare one.
Factors That Affect the Conditions of Tires
If you often drive on damaged roads, or quick start your car the tires will wear out quicker. Also, if you brake abruptly or speed especially on bad roads it can also affect the state of your tires immensely and even be the cause of a car tire change.
Rain, snow, ice and severe weather conditions are capable of wearing out your tires quicker than usual and so are oil, grease and other chemicals. Intense sunlight may also affect the state of your tires and extreme temperatures too.
Sometimes we tend to be the reason for the need of a car repair. For example, when we mix different types of tires and when we use summer tires on snow and ice. In other cases where we use tires with incompatible wheel and rim sizes. Also, when we use a different size spare tire at speeds of or well above 50 mph (80 km/ h). When we fit tires that do not match or exceed the load index and speed capability specified by the manufacturer or when we reinflate a tire that’s gone flat or was previously underinflated.
Improper or No Maintenance
Having set the incorrect tire pressure or not balancing the tires after they have been installed can also be a reason for a tire change. Improper tires storage can lead to worn out or damaged tires as well as the use of unapproved sealants. The lack of a routine check for wear and damage as well as regular alignment and rotation are reasons for this type of DIY auto repair too.
How to Change a Tire
- In order to change a tire, you should have your car parked on a flat surface with your emergency flashers on and as far away from traffic as possible. In order to make a car tire change on your own you’ll also need to have your car in park and the parking brake on. In case you have a car with manual transmission put it in first gear or reverse. Put a heavy object in front of both the back and front tires.
- Lift up your vehicle by placing the jack under the frame close to the tire you want to change. Check your owner’s manual in order to place it under the right spot. Start raising the jack and have it set so it’s supporting the car and not lifting it. The jack should be perpendicular to the ground and set firmly in place.
Replacing The Tire
- Start by removing the hubcap and loosening the nuts while the wheel is still on the ground to ensure you are turning the nuts and not the wheel itself. Use either a standard cross wrench for this or the one that came with your car. It takes a lot of force to break free the log nuts and if you can’t do it by hand you can always stomp on the wrench with your foot. Just make sure you are turning it counterclockwise.
- Once you’ve done that, start cranking the jack until you have your vehicle off the ground. In case you notice any instability whilst lifting the vehicle lower the jack and fix the issue before you continue any further. Make sure the jack is not lifting the vehicle at an angle and if so, lower the jack and reposition it. When you have the vehicle off the ground remove the nuts and the tire from the hub, then place it under the vehicle in case of any failure.
- Put the spare tire on the hub with the rim of the tire aligned with the wheel bolts. Afterwards, put the lug nuts and tighten them by hand until they feel snug. Then, use a wrench to tighten them as much as you can but make sure you do so one at a time. Tighten the nuts in a star pattern, when you do the first, the second one you tighten should be across the first one and then the one across the second nut and so on. Do not use a lot of force when tightening the nuts as you will need to do this once again after you’ve removed the jack.
- Start lowering the car without putting too much weight on the tire – lower the car fully to the ground and remove the jack. After you’ve successfully made a tire change on your own, tighten the nuts once again and replace the hubcap. Place the old tire back where the spare one was. Do not drive around with your spare tire that much as these tires are usually smaller and are not meant to be used on a daily basis.