Change Your Tire
Quickly and Safely
I am a mechanical goofball, and I just never had the time or inclination to learn to change my own tire, because why bother when roadside service will be there in twenty minutes? But I really need to learn how to do it, just in case. What if we break down where there is no cell phone service? What if we call roadside service, and they can’t get to us for an hour, or they say they can, but then they can’t find us? And there we are, maybe out in the Midwest during a new moon, surrounded by endless corn fields, stranded in the middle of nowhere, when something mysterious begins rustling in the corn…
Here are the basic necessities for changing the tire for any vehicle.
1. Spare (properly inflated)
3. Lug Wrench
4. Car manual
5. Flash Light
6. Optional: tire blocks, gloves, towels
The jack and the lug wrench, I just found out, are not universal tools you buy at any auto parts store, but something unique to the make and model of the vehicle that should be included with it when you buy it. If it is missing, you may need to go to the dealer to replace it.
During my online search, it also became apparent that there is not much you can do without knowing the particulars of your own vehicle. So, I looked for a place where we can find our vehicle user manuals online if we don’t have them. This Edmunds page is pretty good.
Click here for Edmunds site for link to many car manuals.
I looked for the manual to a Chevy Express Cargo van since it is likely what I will end up purchasing for our road trip vehicle. I was taken to a Yahoo page where you can put your vehicle info in and it brings up the owners manual for you to download for free, pretty nifty. I easily located the correct manual and I went right to the index and found the instructions.
I went to the corresponding page and read very clear instructions, including pictures, as well as important safety information such as making sure the vehicle is level and putting “blocks” under the it to be extra sure the car doesn’t roll off the jack and hurt you, thus further putting a damper on your happy fun vacation time.
The manual also included good safety tips such as turning your hazard lights on, and for goodness sakes don’t leave your kids in the car in case some nut comes flying around the corner and hits it. It’s common sense, but if it is late at night and you are tired and stressed out, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.
What I am going to do before I embark is get my tire changing supplies together and practice a few times with the manual before it happens late one night in the middle of nowhere, when I’m exhausted and can’t think straight. If I learn anything further that is useful, I will update this page at that time.
Click here to return from Change your Flat Tire to Safety First.