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Learn2 Change a Flat Tire (continued)
Step 3: Loosen the lug nuts

If you try to loosen the lug nuts after jacking up the car, the wheel will just spin on you. Loosen those nuts now and make it easier on yourself.

  • There are generally four or five lug nuts near the center of a wheel. Sometimes they're hidden under a hubcap, or a plate that needs to be pried loose.If this is the case, use the flat end of the lug wrench (or jack handle). Insert it into the slot provided at the edge of the plate, or at the edge of the hubcap. Pry the plate or hubcap off and don't let them roll away.
  • Now that you've removed the hubcap, find the end of the wrench that fits properly. Place it over any of the lug nuts.
  • Turn counter-clockwise to loosen the nut. Do you have the cross-shaped lug nut wrench? If so, grab the opposite ends of the wrench. Use that leverage to loosen the lug nuts.
  • Many people have trouble removing very firmly tightened lug nuts. If you're in that situation, here are a few strategies to help loosen them.
  1. Steady the wrench with your hand if possible, and step down hard on one end of the wrench with your foot.
  2. Place your foot carefully onto the wrench. Holding onto the car, step with your full weight onto one end of the wrench. Bounce up and down on that end until the nut loosens.
  3. Find a rock. Hammer on the end of wrench with it.

Once the nut has loosend and turns more readily, continue turning the wrench until a few remaining turns with your hand will release it. Repeat the process with the remaining lug nuts. Note: Leave the lug nut on the threaded shaft.

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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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