How To…
Change a Tire

How to Change a Tire

I wouldn’t recommend changing a tire if you don’t have to, but if you do, here is the technique that the Fitzgerald-Trouts used.

  1. Find a Safe Spot to Pull Over.
  1. Turn on Your Hazard Lights. This way, even in a dark night or a heavy island rain, passing cars can spot you and know that you’re stuck. Once your lights are on and you’ve checked that no one is coming, you can get your jack, wrench, and spare tire the trunk.
  1. Use the Wrench to Loosen the Nuts. You might need to remove the hubcap first, just pry it off Then loosen (but don’t remove) the lug nuts from the tire. When you’re using a wrench, remember: lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.
  1. Use Your Jack to Lift the Car. In your car’s manual, it should tell you the best place to lift the car with the jack—you definitely don’t want the car slipping off of the jack like the little green car did when the kids tried to change the tire.
  1. Use the Wrench to Remove the Nuts and Remove the Tire. Keep track of your lug nuts, because you won’t get the new tire on without them.
  1. Put Your Spare Tire on the Car. Make sure after you line up the new tire with the wheel that you push the tire all the way into the base.
  1. Put on the Lug Nuts. Don’t tighten the lug nuts all the way, just enough to keep the spare in place for a moment.
  1. Lower the Car back to the Ground. Don’t just remove the jack when the car is still lifted, use the jack to bring it back down slowly, then remove the it.
  1. Make Sure the Lug Nuts Are Tightened. You’re almost done. Try tightening one of the lug nuts part way, then do the same to the lug nut opposite. Keep doing that until the lugs are nice and tight.
  1. Put Your Flat Tire in the Trunk or Use it for a Swing.

If you follow these instructions, your car should be ready to get back on the road! Most cars shouldn’t be driven on spare tires for too long, but the kids got lucky with theirs. It’s gotten them through heavy rains, treacherous forests, and regular iguana attacks.