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How to Fix Your Flat Tire 101

Having a flat tire is one of the most inconvenient things when you are on the road. Especially if you get a flat tire when you are on your morning commute to work. Since I have been doing a lot of driving over the past month or so, I wanted to do a post on how to fix a flat tire. I will not only go over ways to fix your flat but I will also be going over how to change your flat tire. If you are suffering from injuries and you need an auto accident lawyer in Orange County, contact us today. Consultations with a car accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys are free!

Auto Accident Lawyer | How to Fix a Flat Tire

Getting a flat tire is such a great inconvenience for anyone. And sometimes, waiting for a tow truck to tow or change the tire can take hours. Below are some easy and practical ways for you to fix the tire until you are able to get a new one.

Finding the Leak

First thing’s first: find where the tire is leaking. If you are not able to see a nail or any other distinctive indictors to show you where the leak is coming from, you want to check for the leak yourself. And the best way to do this is to properly pressurize the tire by inflating it. Inflate your tire with air until it reaches the appropriate pressure (measured in psi) according to your owner’s manual.

After this, you want to listen for any hissing sounds. When air releases from your tires, you will be able to hear what sounds like a hiss coming from the tire. This is helpful, especially when you are not able to see the problem right away. Most tires that are going flat and/or need to be changed will slowly release air. Furthermore, the hissing sound is a clear indication that air is leaking and it will also help you to locate the leak.

On the other hand, if you cannot hear or see where the leak is coming from, feel around your tire. I cannot tell you how many times I feel around my tires just to make sure there aren’t any nails or bubbles.

Fixing the Leak | Option One: Tire Puncture Sealants

There are a few ways that you can fix a tire puncture on your own. Below is one way to fix your leaking tire with tire puncture sealants.

  • get the correct sealant and make sure that you read the directions
    • many manufacturers have different steps and required amounts you should put in;
  • pull out the object that has punctured your tire;
  • turn the wheel until the valve is at the top of the wheel
    • unscrew the valve cap;
      • you will put the sealant in the same way you would put air in your tire;
  • attach the nozzle of the product to the valve stem
    • once you have the nozzle secure on the valve stem, press the button to release the sealant;
  • test it out!
    • drive your car to see if the sealant worked;
    • you need to rotate the tire in order for the sealant to be evenly distributing;
    • moving the tire will also prevent a heavy lump from forming inside of the tire

car accident lawyer, auto accident attorney

Fixing the Leak | Option Two: Using a Tire Plug Kit

Your next option is to use a tire plug kit; this is a great step right before changing the tire. We will go over how to change the tire and put a spare on your car below as well.

  • loosen the lug nuts with either a tire iron or an impact wrench
    • reminder: this is important because if you do not loosen or break the lug nuts, you will not be able to jack up the car;
    • the weight of the car will still be on the wheels and will prevent the wheels from spinning dangerously while you turn the lugs
  • jack up the car
    • once you have loosened the lug nuts, jack up your vehicle so that you can remove the tire;
    • do this on level concrete or some other hard, level surface;
    • use a floor jack, or a trolley jack;
    • use a jack stand to stabilize the car while you are working on the tire;
  • finish removing the lug nuts and pull the wheel off the hub;
  • pull out any protruding object with a pair of pliers
    • mark the spot with chalk or a marker;
  • clean the hole with the rasp tool that came in the tire plug kit
    • insert the tool in and out of the hole quickly;
      • this will roughen the area so the temporary fix will hold;
  • thread the plug through the center with your insertion tool
    • you may need to squeeze down one end in order to make the thread fit through the hole;
  • force plug into hole with the insertion tool
    • you should leave at least 1/2″ of the plug protruding from the tire;
    • apply rubber cement or glue before inserting plug
      • this will lubricate the plug, making it easier to push in;
  • cut away excess plug materials from the surface of the tire
    • caution: if you use any adhesives, make sure you allow them to dry for at least one minute;
  • pump air back into the tire
    • use a tire gauge to help check tire pressure as you are pumping air back into the tire;
  • apply a soap mixture onto the plug
    • this will help to check to make sure that the seal is holding;
  • put the wheel back on and lower the car to the ground;
  • tighten the lug nuts;
  • replace the tire!!

The final step in this is to replace the tire altogether. Because you don’t want to drive on a tire that has had a puncture in it for too long.

Auto Accident Attorney | How to Change a Tire

When you have the time to change your tire or just want to know how to change a tire, you have come to the right place. Working for an auto accident attorney (and being the daughter of a mechanic) has taught me so much about what I need to do in order to take care of my vehicle. And that includes learning how to change a tire on my own.

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  1. find a flat, stable surface that will prevent the car from rolling;
  2. apply the parking brake and put the car in park;
  3. place a heavy object in front for the front and rear tires;
  4. take out the spare and the jack;
  5. place the jack under the frame, near the tire that you are going to change
    • ensure the jack is in contact with the metal portion of the car’s frame
  6. raise the jack until it is supporting the car (not lifting)
  7. remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts by turning counterclockwise
    • don’t take them all the way off yet
  8. crank the jack to lift the tire off the ground
    • crank it enough so that you can remove the tire and put the new one on
    • make sure the car is stable as you are lifting the vehicle
    • if the car is lifting at an angle or leaning, lower the car and reposition the jack so it will be straight
  9. remove the lug nuts all the way;
  10. remove the tire;
  11. place the tire on the hub and make sure to align the rim of the spare with the wheel bolts;
  12. put the lug nuts back on;
  13. tighten the lug nuts by hand until they are all snug;
  14. lower the car without applying the full weight on the tire;
  15. lower the car to the ground full and remove the jack;
  16. put your old tire in the trunk and take it to the mechanic

Injured? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today!

Suffering from serious injuries due to an accident can be difficult. That is why you need an auto accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys to help guide you. We believe that the only thing you should be focusing on during this time, is getting your health back. That means, that we will take on the burden of your case so you don’t have to. Your car accident lawyer will deal with the insurance adjusters so that you don’t have to. If they are trying to deny your claim or low ball your settlement, we will deal with it. You deserve to be compensated for the injuries you have sustained due to the actions of another.

If you are suffering from injuries, contact a car accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys today. Consultations are free!

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