Sunday, February 3, 2013

How-to: Change A Tire

I've taken a long break from blogging. Between the holidays, starting a new job, and taking on new clients from my small business, it's been a busy few months. On to today's topic.

This may seem like a basic topic today, but it is one that all renaissance men need to know. I must admit, that I didn't know how to properly change a tire just a few short years ago. Also, the next post is going to be about changing the brakes on your vehicle. This will be difficult without knowing how to jack up your vehicle, remove the tire and replace it.

The most important thing I can say about changing your tire, is buy the proper tools. The proper tools always make working on your car so much easier. I've used scissor jacks, bottle jacks, and floor jacks. Buy the best one you can afford. I use bottle jacks, but you must use caution with them. They can be very dangerous if you're not careful. The best jacks to buy in my opinion are floor jacks. They are relatively safe, easy to use, and they make lifting a car a very simple and easy procedure.

I'll show you how to use a bottle jack safely and effectively. When using a bottle jack, you must always consider being safe. To be safe, always use a jack stand. Put the jack stand under the frame first, then put the bottle jack next to it. See the picture below.

Bottle Jack and Jack Stand

Proper Jack and Stand Placement when jacking up your car

Jacking the car is easy, make sure the little screw is tightened, and start to jack the car. When the car starts to lift, make sure the jack is secure and make sure the stand is in place in case either the car or the jack starts to shift.

Once the tire is able to be rotate freely, the car is high enough. To remove the tire is easy, use a tire iron, and loosen the bolts so that you turn them freely with your fingers. If the bolts are too tight to turn, you will have to use your weight. Put your foot on the iron, and apply a steady pressure to the bolt until it "breaks" free. Breaking free is a term used to say that the bolt can be turned freely with your fingers.

Take all the bolts off, and make sure you put them in a safe secure place. You do not want to lose them. They are easy to misplace when you are working on your car. Take the tire off, grab a new tire, and put it back in place.

The next step is one of the most important. Start putting a bolt back on, and hand tighten it. To replace the bolts you want to use a star pattern. See picture below. Hand tighten all the bolts, the use your tire iron to make sure all the bolts are snug. This is another time that you will want to use your weight to make sure all the bolts are tightened as tight as you can get them.
Star Pattern for Tightening Bolts

That's all there is to it. You've changed your tire. Next week changing your breaks.

This was a barebones approach to changing your tire. You can make things a lot easier by spending some money and buying some new tools. If you can afford it, I would buy the best floor jack I could get. I would then buy air compressor. An air compressor will make it easier to remove the bolts and and make sure they tightened properly. See you next week.