Fix that sinking feeling!
Few people like to change a tire. But if you can follow simple directions, this is a good opportunity to revoke your "mechanically incompetent" status. You'll also save time, money and stress, and your passengers will consider you the greatest thing since sliced bread. With this 2torial you'll be back on the road in a jiffy.
Before you begin
To change a tire (or more accurately, a wheel with a tire on it), you need another to replace it. Many car owners haven't checked the spare since they bought the car.
- Take the time to look for your spare tire. Under the floor of the trunk and under the rear of a truck are the usual spots. Whether it's a full-size tire or one of those small, low-quality, high-pressure ones, make sure that it's properly inflated and easily accessible.
- While you're exploring the car, check the car's jack as well, especially if you bought the car used. It's not uncommon for the jack to be missing or incomplete. Find that out now, before you need to use it.
Most cars come with a lug nut remover that's nearly useless... it's small, it slips, and it gives you no leverage. Go to an auto supply store and buy one that's shaped like a cross. They generally have three different sized sockets, plus a pry end, and give you a much better shot at removing a frozen wheel lug. Just make sure that one of the sockets fits your wheel's lugs securely before you leave the parking lot.