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Flat TireGetting a flat tire when you're already running late can be a nightmare, but you can get back on the road sooner with a little bit of knowhow. Study the following steps for changing a tire, so you'll be prepared if you ever need to perform the task yourself.
  1. Park your car off the road in a safe, flat area and turn on your hazard lights. If your car is manual, put it in first or reverse gear. If your car is automatic, put in park and set the parking brake.
  2. Get supplies from your trunk, including the spare tire, tire iron and jack. Grab some gloves if you have them, along with tire blocks or bricks, which should be used to surround the tire opposite the flat to keep your car steady.
  3. Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts, which may require stepping on the end with all of your body weight. You may have to remove the hubcap first.
  4. Jack up your car following the directions in your owner's manual. It's crucial that the jack is located in the correct position beneath the car's frame, which may have slots for the purpose. A bit of creaking is normal as your car is lifted, so do not be alarmed by the noise. And remember, never get underneath your car while it's jacked up.
  5. Once the tire is high enough to spin freely, unscrew the lug nuts the rest of the way with your hand and pull the old tire straight off.
  6. Pick up the spare tire and match the holes on the rim to the bolts, then push it onto the car.
  7. Hold the tire with one hand and use the other to tighten the lug nuts as tight as you can. The tire iron may be ineffective because it causes the wheel to spin.
  8. Slowly lower your car back down with the jack.
  9. Use the tire iron to finish tightening the lug nuts. Work in a diagonal pattern, as opposed to a circular pattern, to ensure even pressure.
  10. Visit a nearby mechanic or tire shop as soon as possible. Spare tires are only designed to drive short distances and you will likely need to replace it with a full-sized tire.
Protect your car. Call Guardian Insurance at (404) 663-4876 for more information on Lawrenceville auto insurance.
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