A flat tire can sometimes be unavoidable, and it can cause quite a headache. If you do not know how to operate a wheel jack and change a tire, you will often be stuck. This article shows how to jack up a car to change a tire.
We'll cover the equipment’s and steps you need to operate the necessary equipment. After reading this article, you won’t have to fear flat tires anymore.
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Equipment Needed To Jack Up A Car
You don't need a lot of equipment or tools to jack up a car, but there are some specific ones you should keep handy. These include:
1. A Jack
They are portable and are made to support the weight of most cars. Other than those two types of jacks, sometimes emergency jacks can be used, which are harder to use.
Some people may ask, "Do you really need a jack to change a tire?" You can use a ramp to hold up the car, but it is quite hard to do and even risky.
It is recommended to keep a jack handy when driving your car.
2. Jack Stands
Jack stands are additional support that helps hold up the car when lifted off the ground.
Jack stands can make changing out the car tires much easier when you can use them properly.
While it is possible to use bricks or other similar objects as a substitute, it is not recommended and should only be done in the case of a last resort.
A wrench is needed to unscrew the lug nuts holding the tire.
Usually, a matching wrench is supplied in most cars, but in case you don't have it, you will need one to be able to loosen the nuts. You should loosen lug nuts before jacking up the car.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to change the tire as the lug nuts are quite tight.
Steps To Jack Up A Car To Change A Tire
After listing the proper equipment, we'll look at how to jack up a car to change a flat tire. The steps you need to follow are:
Step 1: Park Your Car
First thing’s first, you need to stop your car and then park it somewhere safe before you can attempt to jack it up. Make sure to park it somewhere smooth and avoid sloped areas.
Remember to set your transmission to parked and put your handbrake up to ensure your car doesn't move while trying to lift it.
Step 2: Locate the Jack Point
To make proper use of the jack, you need to first locate the jack point of your car. There are multiple jack points available, but they generally follow a certain rule, so you can locate them easier.
Jack points are located underneath the car, often behind the car frame. They are smooth surfaces that are designed to fit with jacks properly. You can find them near the wheels of your vehicles, and you can try to locate the spots with your fingers.
Step 3: Slide the Jack
Once you’ve located the jack point, you'll want to slide the wheel jack underneath the spot. Make sure it is properly aligned, as having it misaligned can damage the wheel jack.
Step 4: Operate the Jack
Next, you will need to operate the jack you have. The method of operation varies depending on what type of jack you are using. Scissor jacks require you to turn the lever around repeatedly until the jack slowly lifts the car. An additional wrench can turn the scissor jack more easily since it requires quite a lot of manual labor.
On the other hand, trolley jacks require you to move a lever up and down to operate. They are also generally easier to slide in and out. It is also less stressful to operate, so trolley jacks are a good option to avoid extensive manual labor.
You will want to operate the jack and lift the car until the tire is off. You can check by trying to spin the wheel. If the wheel spins freely, the minimum required height has been reached.
Step 5: Place the Jack Stands
Place the jack stands carefully near the wheels to provide additional support. If required, you can adjust the height using the jack until the car properly rests on the stands. Check whether your car is steady or not before moving to the next stop.
Step 6: Change The Tire
Once secured, remove the tires' nuts and then remove them. After that, place the new tire and lock it in place.
Step 7: Remove The Stands And Jack
Adjust the height using the jack until the car is off the stands. Then remove the stands from underneath it. Now slowly let the jack down by moving the lever opposite or releasing the pressure valve. Once you have fully lowered the jack, you can take it out from under the car.
You should now have a better idea of how to jack up a car to change a tire. While you can do it without using a jack, it is quite dangerous if you don’t have experience. Learning to locate the jack spot and understand the jack's operation will make this task quite easy.
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