Monday, March 30, 2009


Alright ladies, this post is for you!

Picture're driving down the road, when suddenly you hear an unfamiliar noise coming from under your car! It sounds like something is dragging under the car, and your steering starts to veer a little. After pulling over and inspecting the situation, you realize you have a flat tire. Would you know what to do?

This scenario happened to me on Friday and by golly, if you gals didn't know how to change a flat tire before reading this, you're going to learn!

Okay, first things first, BEFORE you actually get a flat tire, make sure you have these things in your trunk...
~A pair of heavy duty gloves (not wool or leather...duh) These aren't just to keep your hands clean, but to protect your hands, in case the tire is hot or if it's freezing outside!
~Jack & hand crank
~Spare tire (aka Donut)- These are usually located in the trunk, under the carpet in sedans, however in many SUV's you have to lower the spare tire. Make sure you know where your spare tire is located and how to get it out (you can usually find this in your cars user manual).
~Lug wrench

1.) First, turn the car off, make sure it's in park & turn your hazard lights on! Also, it's pretty common sense, but make sure you're out of traffic and that you have room to work.

2.) Next, take the jack, spare tire, and lug wrench out of the trunk. If you have a hub cap on your car, you can pry this off with the lug wrench.

3.) While the tire is still on the ground, loosen the lug nuts (don't take them off, just loosen a bit!)

4.) Position the jack under the proper spot on the frame rails or body panels. You can find the proper location by looking in your owner's manual. Usually, there is a notch in the pinch weld made for the jack. Don't just place the jack any where under the vehicle and raise it up or you could cause damage to the body. Raise the vehicle off the ground. IMPORTANT! Never get under a vehicle supported only by a jack. The jack could fail or shift and the vehicle could fall on you.

5.) While the tire is off the ground, remove the lug nuts and the damaged tire. Put the spare tire on the lugs and spin the nuts on. Tighten the lug nuts in a star or criss cross pattern. When the lug nuts are tight, lower the car back down.

6.) Once the car is on solid ground, tighten the lug nuts again. Remember to tighten them as tight as you can! Don't worry about doing it too tight!

7.) Put everything back into your trunk, including the bad tire (you'll need the rim!) and head to a tire store to get a replacement! Just remember not to drive over 50 mph on a spare!

Now go practice! There is nothing more empowering than confidently fixing your own flat tire!


The Smith Family said...

Your one tough girl! I would have started crying and then started calling everyone I know in my phone book on my cell phone, till someone could come help me. LOL. You go girl!

Kristina P. said...

I do know how to change a tire, but actually doing it, especially depending on what I'm wearing, is a different story!!

Brit said...

Oh for the love (hate) of flat tires. My first one happened this year, my husband was out of town, I was in a brand new state ( I don't know anyone) so I was forced to learn.

I then got 3 flat tires in one week! It was terrible!

I'm glad you are a wonder woman :)

Suzanne said...

I've had plenty of practice and I don't want to be changing tires in this weather. We had a foot of snow day before yesterday.

Every woman should know how to change a tire. It isn't very hard to change your oil either.

- Suzanne

Katie said...

Thanks, Shan! This was an awesome post!

Lisa K said...

I can change a tire, but I still would call someone else to do it. =)

cathycan said...

You da bomb, girl! whoo-whoo!!

Gavin, Laura, and Sydney said...

Thanks for spelling that out for me... Seriously, I think I've been taught that before, but its always good to have a refresher course! :)