10 steps to change a spare tire and important notes to know
What is the fastest and safest way to change a spare tire on a car? How far can a spare tire be driven, and at what speed? In today's article by Carcover, we will answer all of these questions.
How to Change a Car's Spare Tire
Steps to change a car's spare tire:
Step 1: Park the car in a safe place on a flat surface
Before changing a car's spare tire, it is important to park the car in a safe location on a flat surface, avoiding steep inclines or soft soil that could cause the car to sink. If the car is parked near a road, try to park as far away from traffic as possible. Once the car is parked safely, engage the parking brake, shift the gear to P, and turn on the hazard lights. If it is necessary to park the car on the side of the road, place warning triangles or emergency road flares about 10-20 meters away to alert other drivers.
Step 2: Insert the tire
Find a rock, brick, wooden stick, etc. nearby to insert into the front and back of the rear tire to prevent the wheel from rolling freely during tire change.
Step 3: Prepare a tire changer
Tire changer includes: spare tire (usually located under the trunk or under the car), tire change kit and car jack.
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Step 4: Place the jack under the vehicle
Place the jack near the tire that you are preparing to change. The jack must be perpendicular to the ground. The head of the jack should be in contact with the metal part of the vehicle frame. Do not place the jack on the plastic body or cover under the vehicle. Most cars nowadays have a groove or mark that indicates the exact location for the jack. This location is usually 20 cm behind the front tire and in front of the rear tire.
After placing the jack in the correct position, proceed to lift the jack so that it fits tightly onto the vehicle frame. Note that at this point, you do not need to lift the vehicle too high, the wheel should still be close to the ground.
Step 5: Loosen the wheel bolt
Remove the cap covering the wheel bolt. Use a tube to unscrew the wheel bolt in a counterclockwise direction. It may require significant force to remove the bolt. If you are not strong enough to do it by hand, you can use your body weight or push the tube with your foot against the car. A cross-shaped tube will provide greater leverage than a standard hand-held tube.
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Step 6: Jack up the car
After loosening all the bolts, jack up the car so that the wheels are about 2cm off the ground, with enough space to easily remove and replace the wheels.
While lifting the car, it is important to make sure that the jack and the car are stable. If there is excessive shaking or tilting of the jack or car, quickly lower the jack, check the placement of the jack, and start the process again.
Step 7: Removing the flat tire
Completely unscrew all the bolts from the tire. Using both hands, carefully lift the flat tire off the axle and place it immediately under the car's chassis to prevent it from falling in case the jack fails.
If the tire is stuck due to rust, you can use a rubber hammer to tap on the inside or use the spare tire to hit from the outside. This will help loosen it and make it easier to remove the flat tire.
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Step 8: Install the spare tire
Slowly raise the spare tire mounted on the axle, taking care to align the mounting nuts to match. Pay attention to install the tire in the correct direction, avoid installing it backwards. Tire valve heads are always facing the outside.
Step 9: Lower the jack and tighten the lug nuts
Slowly lower the jack until the tire is firmly on the ground, then remove the jack. Use all your strength to tighten the lug nuts in the order shown in the star diagram. You should use your full body weight or lean against the car and use your foot to push the wrench to tighten the lug nuts.
Step 10: Collect tire-changing tools
Place the flat tire in the position for the spare tire, and collect the car jack and tire-changing tools.
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Note when replacing a spare tire
When replacing a spare tire, please note the following:
Lock the car doors securely and remove the key: If you are alone, when getting off the car, make sure to close all the windows tightly. Then lock the car doors and keep the key in your pocket to prevent any bad situations.
Pay attention to the surroundings: One principle of replacing a spare tire is to always observe the surroundings, even if the warning lights are on or there are warning triangle signs. During the process of replacing the tire, if you see a vehicle approaching, it is advisable to proactively move aside to give way. There have been many accidents that have occurred while replacing tires.
Do not use improvised tools: Absolutely do not stack bricks or use improvised tools. Due to the weight of the car, if you use anything other than a jack, both you and the car can be in danger while replacing the tire.
How far can a spare tire run?
What is a spare tire? As the name suggests, a spare tire is a tire used as a backup in emergency situations. Usually, spare tires are not designed for regular use.
There are also vehicles equipped with spare tires that are the same size as the main tire, but they are rare. Most vehicles have a smaller spare tire to save space and reduce weight. This is especially true for small class A cars such as the Kia Morning, Hyundai i10, ... due to limited space, the spare tire is usually very small. This makes the contact surface of the spare tire with the road surface smaller. As a result, the tire's grip on the road is lower, and the braking distance is longer compared to the main tire.
The ability to take turns, drive on slippery roads, drive on rainy roads, and resist punctures from sharp metal objects is not as good with a spare tire as it is with the main tire. This means that when using a spare tire, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) or traction control system will not work as effectively as when using the main tire.
Spare tires are also often not as durable and able to bear as much weight as the main tire. The strength of the tire mainly comes from the steel and polyester underneath the rubber part. With a spare tire, these components are less, sometimes even only half as much as the main tire. Therefore, using a spare tire frequently can affect the mechanical issues of the vehicle.
The differential helps transfer the engine power to the wheels. It also helps the left and right wheels move at different speeds when necessary, such as when the vehicle is turning. At this time, the distance traveled by the inner wheel is shorter than that of the outer wheel. Therefore, the speed of the wheels needs to be adjusted differently.
However, when the vehicle is driving straight, the differential does not operate much. However, if a spare tire is used, because it is smaller, it needs to rotate faster to keep up with the speed of the opposite wheel on the same axis. Therefore, the differential will operate more. In the case of a lack of lubricating oil, the gears or clutch plates may wear out faster.
There is no specific answer to how far a spare tire can be driven. However, according to experts as well as experienced drivers, if the spare tire is smaller than the main tire, after replacing the spare tire, find a place to repair the main tire and use it again as soon as possible. Spare tires should not be used for long distances.
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How fast can a spare tire be driven?
Due to their smaller size and weaker load-bearing ability, tire manufacturers usually recommend that vehicles should only be driven at speeds below 80 km/h when using a spare tire. According to some experienced drivers, the safest speed is around 40-50 km/h. Driving too fast can cause the vehicle to shake, make noise, and increase the risk of tire puncture or tire blowout.
Which cars have spare tires?
Most car models like the Ford EcoSport, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Mitsubishi Xpander, Mazda 3, Hyundai SantaFe, Kia Sorento, Toyota Innova... are equipped with spare tires by the manufacturer. However, in recent years, many luxury car models from brands like Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus... have switched to using Runflat tires. These tires are designed to be able to continue moving even if they are punctured. As a result, manufacturers usually do not provide spare tires for cars equipped with Runflat tires.
In addition, there are also some cases where cars do not use Runflat tires but also do not have spare tires. The reason is due to the different sizes of tires. In this case, the manufacturer will use high-quality tires and provide the customer with a quick tire repair kit.
Note when using the spare tire
The spare tire is made of rubber like the main tire, so it also ages over time. Therefore, whether it is used or not, the spare tire needs to be replaced after 5-6 years from the date of manufacture. In the case that the tire is still too new, it should be taken to a repair shop for inspection. Absolutely do not use the spare tire after 10 years from the date of manufacture.