Chock the other wheels to prevent the car from rolling.
Remove the hubcap (if necessary) with a screwdriver. Many newer cars have hubcaps that don't require removal for access to the lug nuts.
Use the lug-nut wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire (but do not remove them). To loosen a bolt or nut, turn counterclockwise. Remember: lefty-loosy, righty-tighty. If it doesn't come off easily, place the leverage pipe over the end of the lug-nut wrench and pull up rather than push down to avoid back injury. If one lug on each wheel looks different from the rest and the lug-nut wrench doesn't fit it, then you have locking lug nuts (to prevent wheel theft). Check the glove compartment for a special key that fits on this lug nut and makes removal with the lug-nut wrench possible.
When all the nuts are loose, jack up the car, making sure the jack is vertical and well planted on the hard surface of the road (do not jack up a car on sand or dirt). You'll find diagrams indicating where to place the jack either in the car owner's manual or on a sticker affixed to the jack. Most cars have a small slot near each tire for the jack. Jack up the car slightly more than needed to remove the flat tire; the spare will be larger because it is full of air.
Remove the lug nuts. Put them in your pocket or someplace else where they won't get lost.
Take the flat tire off and put it in the trunk.
Put the spare on. If you are unsure which way the wheel goes on, look for the air-pressure valve--it always faces out.
Tighten the lug nuts by turning clockwise. Use a crisscross or star pattern so the wheel doesn't go on cockeyed.
Lower the car and remove the jack.
Tighten the lug nuts again using the leverage pipe. Make them as tight as you can.
Pop on the hubcap (if applicable).
Thursday, July 1st, 2010 AT 9:52 PM