Auto Maintenance and Care: Changing a Spare Tire With an Emergency Jack Properly

As with most auto roadside emergencies there is a correct and safe way to using your auto trunk’s emergency jack as well as wrong or unsafe way. If your truck, car of SUV slips while you are changing a flat tire serious injury and damage can result. Still in many cases and roadside emergencies you can call your new car dealer’s roadside assistance via a toll free number on your cell phone or a tow truck. However in many cases the tow truck wait is a long time, you are hurry or you are helping out a less fortunate motorist as an automotive Good Samaritan. Hence it helps to know the correct means of using an automobile emergency jack.

What are the steps for properly and safely using an emergency jack? First of course you have to find it in the recesses of your trunk or truck’s cab. In the case of most new cars or your late model used car, if the jack has never been used – it is usually under the donut spare tire. Once located the jack is now ready to be used to change the flat tire. First set the parking brake fully and ensure that the transmission lever of your vehicle is placed into park (automatic transmission) or manual (in the case of standard or manual transmissions). “Chock” the wheel diagonal to the one being changed. Then with a screwdriver or the jack handle, pry off the wheel cover. Use a lug wrench (often the end of the jack handle) to loosen the lug nuts a full turn: if the lug nuts are stubborn you may have to apply penetrating oil. Wait a few minutes. Then retry. Ensure and take care that you do not remove the lug nuts entirely. Position the jack under the jacking point nearest the wheel (your owner’s manual in your glove box should clearly locate and identify these points). Next crank the handle clockwise until the jack fits niftily into the jacking point. Keep turning until the wheel barely lifts off the ground. Lastly remove the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the studs.

Next step is to put on the spare tire. Basically it is the same steps as removing the tire in reverse. First lift the spare tire onto the wheel studs. With one hand, hold it in place; with the other finger-tighten the wheel nuts. (Their tapered ends toward the wheel). Let the jack down ever so slowly until the full and total weight of the car or truck rests on the ground. Then, with the lug wrench, finish tightening with the lug nuts, in a crisscross pattern. Ensure that you do not over tighten the lug nuts. Slip the tire valve in the hole in the wheel cover or hub cap and hammer the cover onto the wheel with the heel of your hand.

Lastly in the vast majority of new and even late model used cars, most trunks now contain space and gas saving spare tires referred to in the auto trades as “donuts” or “the donut”. These are only meant as temporary spares for use at speeds at no more than 50 miles an hour (80 km / hour). The danger to motorists and motorists is if you do drive around with the temporary spare at higher highway speeds or for an extended time or mile period and the donut spare fails or goes flat you will be left with an inoperative vehicle by the side of the road as you no other spare tire what so ever to replace the flat with. Visit a tire shop or your auto dealership’s service department to get your full sized permanent tire repaired or replaced forthwith and immediately.

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  3. Tire and Rim Maintenance
  4. ABCs of Checking and Changing Brakes and Brake Fluid
  5. Be Prepared For A Flat Tyre. It Could Happen To You

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