No matter how careful you are, how new your tires are, or where you drive in and around Daytona Beach, New Smyrna, or Port Orange, FL, at some point you are likely to experience a flat tire. Imagine yourself driving along A1A, or cruising from Port Orange to Palm Coast on I-95, when suddenly you hear the flapping of a flat tire and feel your car pulling to one side. As long as you know how to change a flat tire, it a relatively easy task. On the other hand, if you have no idea how to get the job done, you can end up spending a lot of time waiting for a tow truck.
Items You’ll Need to Change a Tire
There are of course three main items you must have in the event you end up with a flat tire. The first is a good spare tire, the second is a jack to lift your car high enough to change the flat out, and finally you need a good lug wrench to remove and install the lug nuts. Along with these three vital items, there are a number of others that can come in handy including:
- A good flashlight
- A pair of gloves
- Something to kneel on
- A rain poncho
- Tire pressure gauge
- Tire blocks to keep the car from rolling
Steps to Changing a Flat Tire
Some of the roads in the greater Daytona Beach area may not always be in the best condition, and can lead to flat tires that will leave you stranded. By following these steps you will be able to change your own flat tire and be on your way in less than half an hour, instead of waiting hours for a tow truck.
Find a safe place to pull over, or pull as far off the highway as possible. Pick a flat spot, set the parking brake, and put your car in park or in gear if you have a manual transmission. Turn on your hazard flashers and if you have wheel blocks be sure to use them.
- Loosen the Lug Nuts
Remove the wheel cover or hubcap and use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Remember turning the lug nuts counterclockwise loosens them, turning them clockwise tightens them. All you need to do is break them loose, do not remove them at this time.
- Lift the Vehicle
Place the jack in the appropriate location (your owner’s manual will show you where these are). Once it is securely in place, raise the vehicle until the wheel with the flat tire is off the ground and remove the lug nuts. Remove the wheel from the vehicle and place it safely out of your way.
- Install the Spare
Line up the studs with the holes in the spare and install it on the vehicle. Install all of the lug nuts and use the lug wrench to run them all the way in without tightening them. Lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the lug nuts securely. Tighten them in a crisscross pattern drawing them tight evenly. Put everything away, and you’re finished.
The roads in the Daytona Beach, New Smyrna, and Port Orange area tend to be very busy. They are not the best place to learn how to change a tire. Take the time to practice this process while safely parked in your driveway, this way you will already know what to do when the need arises.
Written By: Jeremy Kiel