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Changing a Tire

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There are a few cases where you might have to change a tire. You may have gotten a flat, you may be swap summer and winter tires, or you may need to remove a tire to get access to the parts behind it.

Garage Procedure Edit

If you're in a garage, you should use a floor jack to raise and lower the car. The emergency procedure detailed below can be used if you get a flat tire on the road.

To remove a tire:

  1. Make sure the emergency brake is engaged. Cars with automatic transmission should be in Park. Cars with manual transmission should be in Reverse.
  2. Using a lug nut wrench, loosen (but do not remove) the wheel nuts by turning them counter-clockwise.
  3. Jack up the car so that the newly inflated tire, when installed, will just clear the floor.
  4. Remove the wheel nuts.
  5. Remove the wheel.

To mount a tire:

  1. Mount the wheel onto the the bolts.
  2. Firmly tighten each wheel nut by turning them clockwise. Make sure the wheel is tightly pressed against the hub.
  3. Lower the car.
  4. Using a torque wrench, tighten the wheel nuts to 70 ft lbs. (100 NM) of torque. Nuts should be tightened alternatively and evenly.

Emergency Procedure Edit

If you get a flat on the road, you can temporarily replace it with the donut spare in the trunk.

Note that you should not exceed 50 MPH while using the donut spare. You should get a new full-sized tire as soon as possible, and not use the donut spare any longer than necessary. Also note that the rear tire will not fit in the trunk; you will need to put it in the passenger seat or on the optional luggage rack.

This procedure involves using the jack located in the front of the trunk. This jack is only meant for lifting the car in an emergency situations. If you need to raise the car while at home, you should invest in a floor jack. For information on jacking the car in those situations, see Raising the Car.

Locate the jack and spare tire:

  1. Park on a flat and level surface.
  2. Open the trunk.
  3. Remove the access cover at the front of the trunk by turning the two fasteners counter-clockwise a quarter turn and lifting it out. The cover is labeled with information on using the jack.
  4. Remove the jack, jack handle and wheel nut wrench from their bag. This bag may be attached to the cover itself, or it may be lying in the space behind it.
  5. Remove the carpet in the trunk to access the spare tire.
  6. Remove the strap securing the spare tire and remove it from the car.

Loosen the lug nuts and jack up the car:

  1. Make sure the emergency brake is engaged. Cars with automatic transmission should be in Park. Cars with manual transmission should be in Reverse.
  2. Chock (block) the front and back of the other tire on the same side of the car as the tire you are replacing.
  3. Loosen (but do not remove) the lug nuts from the tire by turning them counter-clockwise with the lug nut wrench.
  4. Locate the jack points under the car. These are under the body, just behind the front wheels and just ahead of the rear wheels. They can be identified by metal plates.
  5. Setup the jack under the appropriate jack point. The jack scissors open, with the bottom of the screwed piece resting in a notch on the bottom end of the scissor.
  6. Mount the square hole on the end of the jack handle onto the squared end of the jack rod screw.
  7. Turn the handle to raise the jack. The handle ratchets like a socket wrench, but it moves slowly. If the jack lowers instead of raising, flip the handle over to reverse the ratcheting action and try again.
  8. Stop raising the car once it is high even that the flat tire can be removed and the mounted donut spare will be just off the ground once mounted.

Remove the tire:

  1. Remove the nuts from the wheel.
  2. Remove the wheel.

Mount the donut spare:

  1. Mount the spare tire onto the hub.
  2. Firmly tighten each wheel nut by turning them clockwise. Make sure the wheel is tightly pressed against the hub.

Lower the car:

  1. Flip the jack handle over and use it to lower the jack and the car.
  2. Remove the jack from under the car.
  3. Tighten the wheel nuts as best you can. Nuts should be tightened alternatively and evenly.

Clean Up:

  1. If you replaced the front tire, put it in the spare tire space in the trunk. If you replaced the rear tire, put it in the passenger seat or secure it to the optional luggage rack.
  2. Replace the trunk carpet
  3. Put the jack back in the compartment at the front of the trunk.
  4. Replace the jack compartment access cover.

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