How to Change a Flat Tire
Few things are as inconvenient as getting a flat tire. It can make you late for an
appointment, and when you do arrive, you are either frazzled or filthy from the
experience. If you don't know how to change a tire, the experience is made much
worse by having to wait for someone to come to your assistance.
Most women couldn't care less about the workings of a motor vehicle and how to
change a tire. Unfortunately most modern men are as helpless in this respect as most women.
I refer to men who can't change their own flat tire as, pardon the expression, "girly-boys".
In this article I will provide simple instructions to prepare you for the inevitable
inconvenience of getting a flat tire. Anyone can easily change a tire, even a woman or
a girly-boy. But first lets talk about how to avoid getting a flat tire in the first place.
One way to get a flat tire is when a nail or other sharp object penetrates your tire.
In the old days this would cause your tire to go flat within seconds. Today's modern
steel belted radial tires usually just develop a slow leak when penetrated. Even if not
penetrated by a sharp object, a tire will gradually lose its air pressure. The way to
avoid the inconvenience of getting a flat tire is to check all your tires air pressure regularly.
Today's modern steel-belted radial tires bulge out at the side a little even when
they have proper pressure, so you can't tell by just looking at them if they have
proper pressure. You need to use a tire pressure gauge. Gauges come in two main types.
One type has a rod that comes jetting out at the end. The other type has a dial. In
either case you use the gauge by removing the little plastic cap from the tire's air
valve and quickly pushing the valve end of the gauge onto the tire valve.
You will get a little "hiss" when you do this. If you did it correctly, the gauge
will give an accurate indication of the tires air pressure. Sometimes it takes a little
practice to get an accurate reading. Compare the reading you get with the maximum psi
(pounds per square inch) written on the sidewall of the tire. Car tires usually have
a maximum of 32 psi. Full size light truck tires can have a maximum of 80 psi.
If the air pressure is too low, there is a risk of the tire breaking lose from the
wheel. This would cause dangerous rapid deflation of the tire. When a car tire's
pressure gets below about 24 psi you risk rapid deflation.
If the pressure is too high, there is a risk of the tread separating from the steal
belt. This can also cause rapid deflation, but usually it just gives you a very bumpy ride.
The way to avoid getting a flat tire is to check the air pressure in all your tires
regularly. By "regularly" I mean at least once each month. By "all your tires" I
mean including the spare. It is very common for a person to remove a flat from
their vehicle just to learn that their spare is also flat.