Reno Towing Service
Replacing A Flat Tire
Getting in-depth in the process of changing a flat tire, here's a continuation of the book from Julie Sussman, et al that we have reviewed in the previous posts. It's important to know the basics especially even if you have a subscription for roadside assistance from your insurance company, especially when planning long road trips. Call us when you need a tow company Reno locals have relied on.
Removing the Wheel Cover
Place the wheel block behind the tire that is diagonally across from the tire that needs to be removed. The wheel block will help to keep the car from moving when you jack it up. If you don't have one, use a brick or a thick block of wood. If your tire has a wheel cover (a.k.a. hubcap), remove it by using the flat side of the lug wrench (a.k.a. tire iron, which looks like a flathead screwdriver) to pry it off. Lay the wheel cover on the ground near the car. (If the wheel cover is secured in place with lug nuts, you'll remove the wheel cover when you remove the lug nuts later.)
Loosening the Lug Nuts
Lug nuts are what secure the wheel to the car. Depending on the size of the wheel, there will be 4, 5, or 6 of these hexagonal nuts. Use the lug wrench to loosen (not remove) each nut by placing the open end of the lug wrench over the nut and turning it counterclockwise. (Remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosie.) All you need is to be able to loosen each nut one turn around, because you don't want to remove them just yet. If you're having a hard time budging the lug nuts, apply some lubricating spray to them, wait a few minutes, and try again. If you're still not able to budge them, put the cheater bar onto the end of the lug wrench and pull the cheater bar in an upward motion. This will minimize the stress on the stud where the lug nut rests. Repeat with the other nuts. If you're still not successful, get yourself to a safe area and wait for help.
Using a Car Jack
A car jack is a device that lifts a vehicle off the ground. There are lots of different kinds of jacks – a bottle jack, which is usually the smallest or the three and looks like it doesn't have the power to lift the car, but does; a scissor jack, which is an X-shaped device; and a hydraulic floor jack, which is the largest and heaviest of the three and is typically stored in a garage. Your car probably came equipped with either a scissor jack or a bottle jack. A scissor jack is operated by rotating a metal hand crank, and a pumping bar is used on bottle and hydraulic jacks.
You'll need the car owner's manual to know where to place the jack. The lift points are located underneath the frame of your vehicle, one near each tire. Some vehicles may have the word JACK imprinted at the lift sites. Putting the jack in the wrong spot can really damage your car; therefore, if your car doesn't have any markings, we recommend that you put a piece of duct tape on all four locations so you'll never have to wonder again.
Use the jack to raise the flat tire about 2 inches off the ground, I-his may seem a little high, but you have to remember that the tire is flat and the spare will need the extra space because it's fully inflated.
Note: Never get under a car that is supported only by a jack. If the car is not stable or is moving, try jacking it up again, or call for help."