Don’t fret over flat tires

ULM Hawkeye

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A flat tire can be a serious problem. The car will not drive properly and it can certainly prevent a student from getting to class on time.

If you aren’t a “do it yourself-er,” it’s important to know that there are roadside assistance services available if a tire goes flat.

However, the time it takes and the cost for these services may not be in your budget.

Anna Wood, a junior kinesiology major, would prefer to change her own tire instead of using roadside assistance.

“I don’t have the money to call someone to fix my tire,” Wood said.

If you’re ever in a sticky situation with a flat, don’t panic. The first step to take when changing a flat comes before the flat occurs.

Be a good student. Drivers should read the operator’s manual.

This will provide valuable knowledge on what tools are in the car such as the tire iron, jack and the spare tire and where these tools are located.

“I had no prior experience in changing tires,” junior marketing major, Brython Cox said.

Cox also said that he never read the owner’s manual in his car before changing the tire.

Most flats happen suddenly, which means the driver will probably have to pull to the side of a busy road.

No worries, there’s a fix for that too. Move the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and engage the parking brake.

Turn off the ignition before working on the car.

All vehicles have different specifications. Some spare tires are stored inside the vehicle, but tire-changing equipment might not be.

Now that you have the tools you need, it’s time to switch the old tire with the new one.

Use a heavy, solid object to block the wheel diagonally opposite of the tire.

Remove the tire properly to secure the vehicle before loosening any lugs on the flat tire. When loosening the lug nuts, hold the tire onto the axle.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re almost done.

Use the jack to raise the vehicle up until the tire that is to be removed is off of the ground.

It is important to secure the head of the jack on the solid metal frame under the vehicle.

Once the flat tire is off of the ground, the lug nuts holding the tire may be completely removed from the tire.

Remove the flat tire from the axle and replace it with the spare.

Follow these steps and you’ll be back on the road in no time.