A flat tire can happen any time when you are driving. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to successfully change a tire. As intimidating as it may seem, it is a necessary skill, as well as handling other roadside emergencies.
The jack position is vital when it comes to changing a tire. Some vehicles feature these points as reinforced metal ribs that you can position the jack under and safely lift the vehicle. Usually, there are four points, located under the rocker panels behind the front wheels and ahead of the rear wheels.
This is just a preview. This article explains in detail the role of the jack when changing a tire, its positions, and alternatives.
Where to Put the Jack When Changing a Tire
You may experience a flat tire when you least expect it. Without a roadside service nearby, successfully changing the tire is no easy feat. Knowing the right place to place the jack is one of the key areas.
You need to safely lift the vehicle, otherwise, you might do more harm than good in your attempt. Most vehicles have jacking points in the form of reinforced metal ribs. These are usually located under the vehicle’s rocker panels just ahead of the rear wheels and behind the front wheels.
How Do You Where to Put the Jack
Not knowing where to put the jack when fixing a flat could cause you to hurt yourself or the vehicle. When driving, you can know or hear the unmistakable signs of a flat tire. And while the thought of changing it is frustrating, you will have to do it by yourself if there’s no help in the vicinity.
But you need not wrack your brain too much. Changing a tire can be easily done in a step-wise manner. With the right steps, you will be done in no time and continue with your journey.
Pull Over in a Safe Place
Get away from the traffic as soon as possible. You can pull over by the roadside or get a packing place or other places where you can handle the task ahead. If on a highway, take the exit and get off the road to solid and level ground. The spot should be solid enough to support a jack to ensure it does not sink into the ground.
Secure the Vehicle
Once you have pulled over, work to secure the vehicle. This is done by turning off the engine, ensuring it is in the park, and having the parking brake engaged. Turn on the hazard lights if necessary.
The tires on the opposite corner from the one you are going to jack up should be blocked using a brick, large rock, or piece of wood. This gives another guarantee that the vehicle will not roll off the jack.
Locate the Jacking Positions
Get your jack from where it is located which is usually the trunk or under the cargo floor cover for most cars. With the jack in hand, locate the jacking points in the car’s body. Most vehicles feature reinforced metal ribs that are specifically designed to lift the vehicle safely.
Also, most vehicles have four jacking points located under the rocker panels behind the front wheels and ahead of the rear wheels. However, if you are not sure about the jacking point of your vehicle, ensure you refer to the owner’s manual.
Position the Jack
Different cars will have different setups for the jack, so ensure you consult the owner’s manual to understand how the jack should be placed on the jacking point. Most of the vehicle jacks have a slot on the engagement flange that facilitates easy slipping onto the jack’s point reinforced rib.
Jack up the Car
With that set, you can start jacking up the car. The jack handle should be turned clockwise slowly and carefully till the flat tire is off the ground. This should not be done in a hurry because you want to ensure that the jack position remains intact and positioned straight up and down as it works to lift the car. The jack should not be leaning as it will not be able to hold the car securely.
Lower the Car
When it is time to lower the car, unwind the jack handle slowly counterclockwise until the car tire is firmly on the ground. Then, you can remove the jack and return it to storage. Remove what you used to block a tire and get ready to roll.
Do You Need a Jack to Change a Tire?
While a jack is invaluable when changing a tire, it is possible to change a tire without it albeit much harder. Having a plan of action in such a situation helps a lot. You will need the proper tools, an extra pair of hands, and physical strength.
To fix the flat, you will need a machine lever in lieu of the jack. A metal pole or something else with a similar shape should work just right. For a fulcrum, a block, a large rock, or another sturdy object can be used.
Inescapably, you will need more strength to handle that setup. With one end of the pole placed across the fulcrum under the vehicle, you will have to exert force on the other end. The car should raise up on the side you need to work on.
At this point, your assistant should swiftly slide a rock or block under the raised frame so you can gently release the pole. The car lowers to the block and then you can go on to loosen the lug nuts and change the tire.
Once you are done, perform the lift in reverse so the car fully returns to the ground. From there, completely tighten the lug nuts.
How Long Does It Take To Fix a Flat Tire?
What Items Do You Need to Fix a Flat Tire?
Flat tires happen when we least expect it. And we have to take them in stride and do the necessary. It is therefore important to ensure that you have all the tools that you may need in case of a roadside emergency.