How to Change a Truck Tire: Step by Step Guide
Nothing is more inconveniencing than a flat tire. These are possibly the worst experiences because they can happen at any place and time. Whether it is your first car or you are an experienced driver, it is crucial to know how to change your car tires.
It will save you from being stranded in the middle of the road at night with no one to turn to. Changing your tires will save you loads of time that would have been spent waiting for roadside assistance.
Well, you will have to be ready to do some work because changing the tire is not as easy as jump-starting the car. It is much more intimidating. But, with this guide, you will know everything it takes to change a flat tire.
The first step is to make sure that your car has a spare tire and a fix-a-flat kit. Most of the new car models do not come with a spare tire for various reasons. To be on the safe side, you need to make sure that you have one with you at all times.
Even if your car has a spare, you must make sure that you check it occasionally. Sometimes the tire may lose air when it sits too long unused. Therefore check its air pressure and general condition before you start planning those long trips.
For your fix-a-flat kit, make sure that you have a flashlight, paper towels, and a tire gauge. If you are headed to a meeting and need to keep your clothes clean, use a floor mat. However, things can get messy fast, so you have to give yourself a break if you do get a little dirt on your clothes.
Pick Your Spot
For changing your tire, you must make sure that you get a safe place. This is not always easy. You need to go for a level yet solid surface. The best place is a hard surface that has separated from the road. But, remember not to drive on your rim for too long looking for the perfect spot. If you do this, you will have to buy a new wheel.
Ensure that you keep your flashers on when navigating to a spot you have noticed. It will help other drivers see you on the side of the road, especially if it is dark. Turn them on as soon as you realize you have to pull over, to avoid accidents.
Once here, set the parking brake and get ready to start the changing process. The parking brake will keep the car from rolling over.
Check and Remove all Your Tools
If you already regularly check your spare tire for damage, this is a moot point. If you do not, you must check to see if you have all the necessary tools and that the tire has adequate air pressure. Ensure that you buy the best tire and gauge, so you have an easy time when you find yourself in the unfortunate scenario where your tire needs to be changed.
Apply Wheel Wedges
The first thing you need to do is to apply the wheel wedges. These go in the front of your truck, or behind. Their main goal is to ensure that the truck does not roll over while you are working on it.
If you are changing the rare wheels, start by putting these wedges in front of the front wheels and vice versa when working on the front ones. If you do not have wheel wedges, you can use rocks as long as they are big enough to keep the car from rolling.
Remove the Wheel Cover or the Hubcap
If there is a hubcap covering the nuts, you can easily remove them before using the jack to lift the truck. If the lug nuts are exposed, you may want to skip right to the next step.
To remove the hubcaps, use the flat end of your wrench. If this does not work, your hubcaps may need a different tool, so you have to consult the user manual for procedures on how to remove them.
Loosen the Lug Nuts
Use the lug wrench and turn these lugs in a counter-clockwise motion until you feel the resistance break. You will have to use force, so do not be afraid to. If your foot does not work, put in the force of your entire body. Just loosen these nuts, do not remove them completely at this stage. You will do this when it is time for the wheel to be detached from the truck.
If you are doing this by the roadside and have a passenger with you, get them to be your spotter. A split-second warning that there is an incoming car could be a lifesaver.
Jack it Up
Place the jack beneath the truck’s frame alongside the flat tire. Most trucks will have a molded plastic on the bottom that has an area cleared of exposed metal where this jack should be placed. You may have to check the user manual to find out where you should put it.
You may have to place a 2X6” underneath the jack to keep it from coming off the balance of settling under the weight of your car. Once the jack is well positions, raise the truck until the flat is about six inches off the ground. After raising the car, never put any part of your body under it.
Change the Tire
Unscrew the lug nuts and put them safely on the ground. Remove the flat tire and set it on the side, so it does not roll away.
The next step is to mount the hub by lining the rim with the lug bolts. Push it slightly so that the bolts will show through the rim. Pick the lug nuts and tighten them as much as possible by hand. You will use the wrench to tighten them later.
Lower the Truck and Tighten the Lug Nuts
Use the jack to lower the car so that the spare tire is resting on the ground but is still not holding the entire weight of the car. Tighten the lug nuts using the wrench, turning them clockwise until they are as tight as possible.
Do not be afraid to use your full body to push down on the lug wrench. Lower your truck entirely and replace the hub caps in the same way you had initially removed them.
Safety is paramount when you are changing your tire. So ensure you are entirely off the road and that you use the right equipment. You must also tighten the lug nuts as much as you can to keep the tire securely in place.