Tools you need to change a flat tire
Tools you need to change a flat tire
Getting a flat tire is never fun, but it is a fact of life when you own a car and drive. As long as you are properly prepared there should be no need to panic!
Making sure you have all the tools you might need in your car or garage is crucial. With a little bit of planning, you will be safe and prepared to change a flat tire. Let's take a look at what tools you need to change a flat tire.
Lug nut wrench
Tires are attached to the axles of the car by lug nuts. Usually, lug nuts are attached to the tires by a machine, obviously, they need to be attached tightly.
Most cars come with a lug nut wrench. This wrench will allow you to unscrew the lug nuts from your tire so you can remove it.
You will find though, that a telescoping wrench or a cross wrench will work better and be easier to use. It is worth it to add one of these wrenches to the trunk of your car.
A jack is a tool that you place under your car, near the flat, and use to raise up the car. Usually, this might be 2 pieces. There is a rod that inserts into the jack and it allows you to “jack up” the car. This raises the tire completely of the ground so you can change the flat tire.
Be careful using a jack. You need to be sure it is in the proper spot for raising your car off the ground. If you are not sure, the vehicle’s manual will tell you where to place it. Improper jack placement can cause damage to the underside of your car or cause injury if the car slips off the jack.
A jack stand is a piece of equipment that can be a lifesaver. A jack stand is height adjustable. Once you have it adjusted for the proper height, slide it under the car where your flat is located.
Make sure you slide the stand underneath and in a position of the jack points for your car.
A jack stand will help keep your car more secure than just a jack when changing the tire. When using a jack stand though, be sure it is standing on solid, flat ground that is free from any debris.
Any time you are working on your car, you should use wheel chocks. Wheel chocks are designed specifically for vehicles. They are placed in positions to prevent the car from rolling forward or rolling backward. These can be an invaluable safety measure when your vehicle is jacked up.
Sometimes people will suggest that you use wooden blocks or cement blocks. But they are not meant to be used for cars. Wheel chocks are made only for keeping cars from rolling away. They can be purchased in the size and shape that is best for your car from just about any auto center. This is a worthwhile purchase and an important part of any home garage.
A pair of work gloves can have some potential uses when changing a flat tire. You definitely should have a pair on hand.
Work gloves can protect you from the heat if there are parts of your car that are hot. They will also help you get a firmer grip on the wrench as you try to remove the lug nuts. And they will also help protect your hands from developing blisters. And they will help to keep your hands clean.
This can also be known as “wrench oil”. Lug nuts can be very difficult to remove. If your lug nuts are very tight, spray the oil on them and wait about 15 minutes. The wrench oil will help to loosen the lug nuts, making it easier for you to remove them.
An inflated spare tire
This may seem obvious, but make sure you have an inflated spare tire. After you remove the flat tire, replace it immediately with the inflated spare. After putting the spare on, replace the lug nuts and make sure that they are tight.
The owner’s manual
Make sure you have your vehicle’s manual on hand. The manual will have step by step instructions for changing a flat tire. It will also have useful information on where tools might be located in your vehicle and how to use them. The owner’s manual will also show you the jack points of your car, which you will need to place the jack and jack stand under.
When changing a flat tire, make sure you are in a safe location. Be sure you are on level ground and that you are not in the way of any other traffic. You will be outside on the ground working so be sure to have plenty of free space around you.
Tire Pressure Gauge
Once you have your new tire on, you need to check the tire pressure. Using a tire pressure gauge make sure the tire is inflated properly, according to the manufacturer. An underinflated or overinflated tire can be a problem.
Once you have changed the flat tire, replace all of your equipment in your trunk and put the flat tire in as well. You will want to take the flat tire to a repair shop and replace it with a new, fully inflated tire immediately.
There are a few other pieces of safety equipment that will help keep you safe when changing a flat tire and are worth having on hand.
A reflective vest will be invaluable if you are stuck on the side of the road changing a tire at night. It will help other drivers to see you.
Road flares can be used to help mark off an area around your car while changing a tire along the side of the road at any time of the day or night. Again, flares will help alert other drivers to your situation.
A heavy-duty flashlight will help you see clearly when changing a flat at night. You can not predict where you will get a flat, so be sure you can always see clearly.
In no time at all, you will be on your way once more!