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Learn2 Change a Flat Tire (continued)
Step 1: Find the right spot

While you're doing all this, you'll probably have traffic passing you. Especially if it's nighttime, the oncoming cars will have a hard time seeing you crouched down at the front of the car--so choose your changing spot well. However, the more that you drive on the flat tire, the greater the chance that you'll damage it beyond repair. Look for the first good spot, not the second.

  • Find a level area where you can work. It's dangerous to jack up a car on a hill or incline.
  • Find a spot where you can pull the car over, out of the way of traffic. A long, straight stretch of road is better than just around the bend in a road. Traffic will be able to see you, rather than coming upon you unexpectedly.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers (usually near the steering wheel).

Set the parking brake! Put automatic transmission cars in park. Put manual transmission cars (stick shifts) in first or reverse gear. To be really safe, put two bricks or rocks (at least the size of your fist) in front of and behind the tire opposite the flat. This will help keep the car from inadvertently rolling.

If you have a tarp with you, spread it on the ground next to the flat tire. Weigh it down with rocks or heavy objects so the wind won't pick it up. This will give you a clean space to kneel, and place wheel parts. If you have gloves with you, put them on.

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Step 1: Find the right spot
Step 2: Get the spare and the jack
Step 3: Loosen the lug nuts
Step 4: Jack up the car
Step 5: Remove the old wheel
Step 6: Put on the new wheel
Step 7: Lower the car and pack it all up


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