How to Fix a Flat Tire
There are few things worse than having your car trip derailed by a flat tire. And, of course, tires never go flat when (or where) it's convenient. If you don't have roadside assistance to bail you out, or if you don't have time to wait, here's how to change your own flat.
Find a safe place to park. You'll need to pull over as soon as possible, so start looking for a good place. Level ground is ideal, preferably pavement, and a wide enough shoulder that you'll be a safe distance away from oncoming traffic. Pull onto a quiet side street, if possible.
Assemble everything you need. Get your spare tire out of the trunk, as well as your jack and lug wrench. The jack is usually stored in a side panel and raised slightly in order to keep it from rattling, so it will need to be let down before you can remove it. Likewise, you will need to unscrew the tie down that holds your spare tire in place.
Loosen the lug nuts. With a screwdriver or the slotted end of your lug wrench, pry the hubcap (if you have one) off your wheel. Some wheels have a center cap that will need to be removed to expose the lug nuts. Then loosen all of the lug nuts. Remember: lefty loosey and righty tighty!
Jack up the car. Most cars come with jacks that are made to jack underneath the doors, fitting over a metal rim that is close to the wheel you need to remove. Read the manual to find out where to best place the jack, as there should be a spot that's been reinforced for safe jacking.
Remove the lug nuts. Once the tire is no longer touching the ground, remove the lug nuts the rest of the way, putting them into your pocket so you don't lose them. Remove the wheel and put it underneath the car, just on the other side of the jack, in case the jack fails.
Put the spare on. Roll the spare over and lift it on, lining the screws up with the holes in the wheel. You may have to jack the car up a little farther to get it on. Put the lug nuts on and get them all snug, but not tight.
Lower the car. Move the flat tire from underneath the car and lower the jack. Once the car is down, tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern to ensure that they all get equally tight. Tighten with all your strength and feel free to make two or three passes to make sure.
Stow everything. You're almost done! You just need to clean up your mess. Put the jack and the spare tire kit away while you remember where everything goes, and put the flat tire and hubcap in the trunk.
Remember, spare tires aren't made to be driven on for very long. As soon as possible, come into one of our Valley Chevy dealers to have your flat repaired – or perhaps just to browse our great lineup of Chevy vehicles.
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