The best way to change a flat tire
10:14

The best way to change a flat tire

Cars
You may only change a tire when and if you get a flat on the side of the road. And of course, in that case, you could call AAA or some highway road service. But don't be pathetic, you can do this, here's how. [MUSIC] First thing is, get your car in the right place. Where it got a flat and you came to a stop is not necessarily that place. You wanna be somewhere flat, like we are right now. If you have to, limp your car slowly to such a place. And you wanna be out of traffic, especially if you're changing a tire over on that side, which is the traffic side, if you're on the side of the road. Don't hang your **** out where the traffic is, pull the car over. Or if you're working on this side, you're in better shape. And finally, finish securing the car by putting it in park if it's an automatic, first if it's a manual. And then throw a chock of some kind, it can be an old rock, a piece of wood. Maybe you carry a wheel chock, bonus points for that. That goes behind the wheel in the opposite corner from the one that you're changing. Now we're done securing the car, now we can actually change the tire. [MUSIC] Okay, all this starts now with your lug wrench. It's probably attached to your jack. This thing here, it's called a scissor jack, it's in the back of just about any car made. The lug wrench is probably attached to it. Don't be fooled, it might have a folding out part here, a folding out socket that actually goes over the lug nuts or the lug bolts, whichever your car has. And it's got enough of a lever to give you some leverage. The first thing you do on your secured car is to crack these four, five, maybe more, lug nuts or bolts just barely loose. [MUSIC] Okay, now that you've got those just barely loose, the car's still on the ground, now we're gonna get it up in the air. You take your jack, and you're gonna put this under a jacking point, it's specific on every car. You'll see usually a label on the jack that says where this thing has to seat underneath the belly of the car. You wanna follow those directions so you don't cause any upward dents or other damage in the floor pan or the edges of the vehicle. This is important, it's usually pretty simple. You've either got cars like this one that have a flat plate that goes under a flat part of the car. Other cars will have an area where the jack has got a slice or a slot in it, and that connects to a little welded flange on the bottom of the car. Whatever it is, just do what they say. Now before we actually use this thing to get the car off the ground, here's the most important thing you have to know when it comes to jack safety. It's just one rule, not a bunch of them, and it is this. All jacks are always about to fail. Say it with me, all jacks are always about to fail. If you bear that in mind, you won't put any part of you that matters under any part of this that can be operated by gravity, and to come down on said part of you that matters, and you'll never get hurt. We're gonna see that as we get this thing up in the air, let's go. [BLANK_AUDIO] Before we get the car up in the air, though, quick pro tip, carry a box of these in your car, nitrile gloves. These are great for all kinds of things that happen on the road, but especially if you're changing a tire, why's that? Because there is nothing in the world dirtier than the underside of a car or the backside of a car's wheel. So you're gonna wanna have these on, or you're gonna be covered in grime that no soap known to man will take off easily. The other pro tip is to carry one of these with you. Whenever your car breaks down, you gotta crawl around under it and see what's going on, it's so nice to have a kneeling pad. Otherwise, you're kneeling on the shoulder of the road, which is nothing but little sharp pebbles, and lots of pieces of broken glass. Not fun, and not very clean. Now let's get this guy up in the air. So again, I'm gonna locate the spot where it says right here on the jack. Right behind the cut line of my door, in this case. And it just goes right there, seat that nicely. The same wrench that they give you to take the lugs off, that's the one you also typically use to operate the jack. I get it started, it's starting to bite, car's coming up, and now I start doing this. Now, unlike a floor jack, these things can be kinda slow, and we know they're widowmakers. That's why we're, remember, assuming that all jacks are always about to fail. So you're not gonna put yourself under here. You're also not gonna put yourself under here where the body can come down on top of this tire as it's starting to be dismounted. Hands can get caught in there, arms can get caught, not good. How much do you jack the car up? Just give it enough so you've got some daylight underneath that tire over there, it's not a precise thing. Your jack, if it came with the car, will have plenty of travel so we can get that particular model of car up in the air, including the amount of suspension droop that occurs as the car goes up. [MUSIC] Front wheels are easy to check cuz they freewheel, at least on a rear wheel drive car like this. So I can easily give it a spin and say, yep, you're not there yet. There There we go. Now I've got enough play. I'll give it a couple more cranks. Just so I know, my wheel is off the ground and not gonna get stuck on the way. Okay, this guy is now clearly off the road and the next thing I do is use my same lug wrench to finish taking off those five knots. [MUSIC] All right, so the five lug nuts, or four whatever you've got or off. Note that some cars will use bolts. These are nuts. This is more common in my experience anyway, but a few cars will use bolts. It's the same thing, they just hold the wheel on so don't be confused by that. Scoot those out of the way. Get a little space here, cuz now we want to get this wheel off. And remember all jacks are always about to fail, so what do we do? We don't grab the wheel up here where the car can come down in our hands. We don't put our hand under here or we can get pinched by the whole thing coming down. You grab either by the alloy wheel or put your hands down here at about what four and eight and pull the thing out. It's much easier just to grab the wheel right here and take it straight off from these five threaded studs. And that's it. Another good pro tip is when you're done with this guy and putting it aside. This is our flat, remember it's a good safety tip to take it. Put it flat behind the jack, usually and just slide it under the car while you do that. It gives you an extra safety just in case the car comes down because all jacks are always about to fail. Okay, I promise I'm done with that. Now we just go the other direction. [MUSIC] Now I'm gonna pretend like this tire is my new fresh tire cuz I don't feel like going in the trunk and digging out the spare because like on most cars digging out the spares a real pain on this car as well. So look, here's a fresh new tire full of air. I'll put this one on now. Now, another pro tip, tires and wheels are heavy. Don't just do a straight jerk on this thing up out of the trunk for example, you're gonna **** your backup. Do what the pro tire guys do at the tire shops, do an e-jack, get behind the thing like so and then roll it onto your knee. And it's much easier to need it up and pick it up like that. Still heavy, but it's better than doing a straight lift, but let's get this guy on the corner. Everything from this point on is the reverse of what we've already done, so again, we're gonna line up our wheel. This can be a little tricky if you don't do it often. Trying to line up these studs that have to line up with these holes, so just kind of eyeball it, and I see my studs are lined up like that. Got my holes about the same way. It's very good here to get on the face of the wheel and again lifting it safely where I'm not gonna get pinched. Kinda lift it up there. And the line that up on those studs or so I say. And try and get this guy on there with a minimum of retries. Easier said than done. Here we go. Okay, you got it hanging on the studs now. With that, we start putting on our lug nuts or potentially bolts. Hold the wheel against the hub like this. The wheel is gonna want to do this. It's gonna wanna be flanged out because of its weight. It's kind of hanging on a hook. Start these guys by hand. It's all you're doing. Just get them so they touched the wheel. Not using any tools. And then once we're done with this, [MUSIC] Initial tightening. We press the wheel in, make sure it's against the hub. Do one final finger tighten. Lightly snugged them with the lug wrench, just a bit. You don't want to apply any real force on a car that's up in the air. Now lower the car to the ground. [MUSIC] Okay, now we just go around and tighten up these lug nuts. Two tricks to this. Try and do it in a star pattern. In other words, don't go around in a circle, but keep bouncing to the opposite nut or bolt from the one you just type. So you're kind of making a star unless if you're writing a star in handwriting that helps to distribute the force on the wheel a little better. It's not super critical when you're doing a roadside change. The other thing is how much force do you put on this thing? Everyone's afraid their wheels gonna fall off. Don't tighten it enough and they get crazy with the wrench. They start standing on it and jumping on it. Good God, don't do that. These wrenches that their length, the average humans upper body strength just leaning on it and giving it a little bit of a tug is all you need. That's going to ballpark the amount of tightness you need, so I'm just gonna go about yay. I need more on that one to keep the wheel in place. Okay, now I'm gonna bounce to the opposite one across here and as you tighten these, you may find that a little more hand tightening is necessary. Because the wheel is moving in as you tighten, each one of these. Okay, and I've got one to go here. [MUSIC] And one more on that. Good, once the flat is fixed and the normal wheels put back on the car, you would tighten these more precisely with a torque wrench which is adjustable to a tightness specification. That is hopefully listed in your cars owners manual. [MUSIC] That's how you change the tire. You' re gonna be totally safe doing it this way, nothing bad is gonna happen. Even if you're jack does fail cuz you stayed out from where the car is going to land and you made it happen pretty quickly, you kept your hands fairly clean. Hope you can see much grime is on my gloves and you kept your knees from being all torn up. This video I hope you actually never need, but if you do, now you know.

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