How to Use a Car Jack to Change a Flat Tire

If you own a car you should know how to use a car jack. You never know when your tire is going to go flat and you are going to need to know how to use a jack. It is particularly helpful to learn how to use a car jack if you are going to be traveling by car a lot. This pertains to anybody who travels for business, or new college students who will be commuting back and forth from school.

Contrary to popular belief it is very easy to use a car jack. After a little bit of practice anybody will be a professional. Just make sure your first practice run is not the first time you have a flat! The steps for using a car jack are as follows:

1. Make sure that you park your car on level ground. If you are on a hill you will need to get your car to a level spot. If you have an automatic transmission car put it in park; if you have a manual transmission put it in first gear or reverse. Always be sure to engage the parking brake as well.

2. For added safety you may want to put a brick behind or in front of the wheel that is diagonally opposite of the wheel that you are working on. Where you position (in front or behind the wheel) the brick will depend on the incline of the road that you are on.

3. At this point (if you have not done it already) you will want to get out your owner’s manual. The manual will have information on where to find the jack, as well as how to use it. If you do not have an owner’s manual you will want to contact your local dealer and ask them what you need to do in order to get a replacement.

4. You will want to place the jack on the frame of the car that is closest to the wheel that you are working on; this should be pictured in the owner’s manual.

5. After you have the jack in place, you will then have to insert the handle. Again, this should be outlined in the owner’s manual. After this, you can proceed to turning or ratcheting the handle in order to raise the car. If you notice that the car is not rising steadily you will want to immediately lower the car and make sure that you have the jack properly in place.

6. Continue to raise the car until you have enough room to work on the flat tire. Leave enough room to get the new tire into place. Remember, a flat tire is not going to be as big as a fully inflated tire.

7. After replacing the tire, be sure to take caution when lowering the car. You want to do this in a slow and steady motion.

By practicing these steps you will soon become very familar with how to use a car jack. Most people begin to catch on after their first or second try. After that, if you are still having a hard time you may want to ask an experienced professional to walk you through the process. Chances are, you are missing out on something simple!

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