A flat tire occurs when you least expect it. And what happens when you have a flat tire in a remote area where cell phone reception is poor? This is why you need to be able change a flat tire without calling for assistance. Here’s how to do it.
Always Be Prepared
Planning will go a long way toward minimizing your frustration. It’s always recommended that you have the following tools inside your emergency kit:
- Spare tire
- Lug wrench or tire iron
- Pair of mechanic overalls and gloves to avoid getting dirt or grease on your hands and clothes
- Flares or a pair of reflectors
- Wheel chocks
Choose an Appropriate Parking Spot
Immediately the pressure indicator light comes on your dashboard, you know it’s time to find a safe place to park your car. Your ideal parking spot should have a flat, level surface in order to prevent your car from rolling.
However, if the flat occurs on an uneven spot, make sure your emergency brake is engaged and place the wheel chocks on all of the tires except for the flat one. Remember to park as far as possible from the main flow of traffic. Also make sure to turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and use flares or reflectors for long-range warning at night or in the rain.
Remove the Hubcap
Toyotas running on factory mode don’t have a hubcap lock. You can use either a standard screwdriver or the sharp end of the lug wrench to pull out the hubcap.
Loosen the Lug Nuts
Place the lug wrench onto a lug nut and spin it counterclockwise until it loosens. Repeat the same process for each lug nut.
If the lug nuts are too tight, use your body weight to help loosen them. However, remember that you’re only loosening the nuts and not fully removing them.
Place the Jack Underneath your Car
To do this, you’ll need to consult your Toyota owner’s manual to find the suitable point for placing the jack. However, if you don’t have the manual, look for an arrow or indicator at the edge of the frame near the flat tire and position the jack accordingly.
Raise or Jack Up the Car
Slide the prying end of the lug wrench into a bracket on the jack and begin raising the car by slowly turning the wrench clockwise. The recommended lift height is about 6 inches.
Remove the Lug Nuts and Tire
Remove the lug nuts from their stems and use the hubcap to hold them. Pull the tire straight out and not at an angle. Beware of the heaviness of the tire when removing it.
Locate the Spare Tire
Many Toyota utility vehicles will have the spare in an exterior housing such as at the back door. However, for Toyota saloon cars, the spare tire is often located in the trunk.
Mount the Spare Tire
Place the spare tire onto the wheel hub and align it with the wheel bolts. Put the lug nuts back on and use your hand to tighten them.
Lower the Car and Tighten the Lug Nuts
Gently turn the jack counterclockwise using the lug wrench to lower the car to the ground. Finally, make sure to fully tighten each lug nut.
Reinstall the hubcap. Place the flat tire in the trunk or back seat and make sure you don’t leave behind any of your tools.
Follow these easy steps and you will be back on the road sooner rather than later.
If you’re still experiencing trouble or don’t feel confident changing your flat tire yourself, contact us at Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego for tire services in San Diego. Schedule your next service appointment conveniently online today.