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How to Change a Flat Tire

When your car gets a flat tire, remain calm and follow these instructions.


1.
 Don’t panic! You don't have to stop your vehicle immediately. Pull over to the side of the road away from traffic to a safe spot. Park your vehicle on a leveled sur- face away from soft ground. If you have a brick or wheel chocks, place them in front of your front tires if you are chang- ing a rear tire and behind your rear tires if you are changing a front tire.

2. 
Turn off your vehicle, put your emer- gency brake on and turn on your hazard lights. 

3. 
Open your trunk and remove your spare tire, car jack and lug wrench. If you have a blanket, gloves and a change of shoes, take those out and use them to protect your clothing when kneeling along side your car.

4. 
With the lug wrench, start loosening the lug nuts on the wheel but don't loosen them completely.

5. 
Attach the car jack securely under- neath your vehicle (most new vehicles have a metal spot or groove behind each wheel for the jack.) Do not place the jack against a plastic part of your wheel/car or it could crack. If you have questions about where to place the jack, refer to your owner’s manual.

6. 
Jack your car up so that it is suspended but not off the ground. 


7. 
Loosen the lug nuts by turning them counter-clockwise with the end of the wrench that fits on the nut (but doesn’t rattle when you turn it). Having the wheel on the ground means you are turn- ing the nuts instead of the wheel.


8. 
Pump or crank the jack to lift the tire off of the ground. Make sure the car is stable and lifting evenly (not at an angle or leaning). If it is not even, lower it and reposition the jack. Lift the car 2 inches off the ground (or high enough to remove the flat tire).

9. 
Remove all of the lug nuts completely. Put them somewhere secure where they cannot roll or get lost in the mud/snow. 

10. 
Remove the flat tire and place it under the car so that if the jack fails, it might help avoid injury.


11. 
Put on the spare tire and tighten the lug nuts by hand. Tighten opposite lug nuts simultaneously. Once the tire feels secure, use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts further but not completely.


12. 
Lower the jack until the tire is back on the ground. Remove the jack from the car and replace in trunk. Use the lug wrench again to further secure the lug nuts. Replace wrench in trunk.

Once you are back on the road, try to maintain speeds under 55 mph and have the spare tire checked by an automotive professional as soon as possible.


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