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Under the Hood

How quickly can you change a flat tire!?

October 16, 2013
I’ve clocked myself at five minutes before. Okay, okay, I’m just kidding. I’m not that fast,  but I HAVE gotten pretty good at changing out tires! That being said, I’m going to give you a brief run-down of how to change your tire and get off the side of the highway as quickly as possible. 1. First off, you need to safely get to the side of the road. Aim for a flat, solid surface on which to get your handiwork done. Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 3.40.05 PMjackwrench 2. Once your car is off and in park, it’s time to pull out your car jack and spare tire! Your spare tire could be anywhere from on the back of your car, to under the trunk or already in your trunk. (The key to getting your tire changed quickly is already knowing whereabouts your spare and your jack and wrench are!) 3. Place the jack under the car frame near the tire you’re in the process of replacing. And make sure the jack is making contact with a metal part of your car’s frame — putting it against plastic will crack the plastic. jackjack2Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 3.51.37 PM 4. From there, raise the jack until it’s not lifting up, but supporting the car. 5. Time to loosen the lug nuts! Take the wrench that came with your car and twist the nuts holding your wheel in place in a counterclockwise motion. Don’t take them all they way off… not yet at least! If this doesn’t really make sense, keep in mind that by keeping the tire on the ground while loosening the nuts will make sure you’re turning the nuts and not the wheel. 6. Now it’s time to crank up the jack until the tire’s off the ground! And now you can safely remove the nuts all the way by hand. 7. Switch the tires! Take off the flat one and replace it with your spare.   star2 8. Reapply the lug nuts by hand, and then tighten with the wrench in a star pattern giving each nut a single twist until they’re all equally tight. 9. Lower the car, and right before you put the full weight back on the tire, tighten those lug nuts as much as possible one last time, just for safety. 10. Put your old tire in your trunk and you’re good to go!   So what do you say, can it be done in 5 minutes? If your answer is yes, I’d suggest you make your way to a NASCAR pitstop 🙂