Blog Page at Monicatti Auto Sales in Chesterfield, MI

How To Change A Car Tire in 13 Simple Steps

HOW TO CHANGE A CAR TIRE IN 13 SIMPLE STEPS



7/6/2022 - 9:00 AM

Sooner or later it's bound to happen to everyone. You're driving along on your way to work or on your way to your kid's soccer game, and all of a sudden your car pulls to one side and you hear the dreaded sound of a flat tire.

Nowadays, many people have roadside assistance services. However, if not, you could be faced with the inconvenience and the extra charges from calling a tow-truck and having your vehicle towed to a local service center (one like our Monicatti Auto Service Center!) On the other hand, you could save yourself the time, the inconvenience and all kinds of money by doing it yourself! And believe it or not, changing a car tire is actually pretty easy.

Here are 13 simple steps for changing a car tire.

STEP 1 - FIND A SAFE PLACE TO CHANGE YOUR TIRE



You should have a solid, level surface that will keep your vehicle from rolling away. Avoid soft ground and hills if you can. If you are near a road, park as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights.

STEP 2 - PUT THE VEHICLE INTO "PARK" AND APPLY THE PARKING BRAKE




Make sure your vehicle is in "park" and apply the parking brake to ensure your vehicle stays put.

STEP 3 - PLACE BLOCKS IN FRONT OF THE OTHER TIRES



If possible, depending on where you pulled the vehicle over, look for some sort of large, heavy objects (rocks, large tree branches, etc.) to place in front of and behind one or two of the other, non-flat wheels. This is another security measure to ensure the vehicle doesn't roll on you.

STEP 4 - TAKE OUT THE SPARE TIRE, THE CAR JACK & THE LUG WRENCH



In most vehicles, the spare tire, the car jack, the lug wrench and any other tools needed for changing your tire are located in the trunk. Typically, you will need to pull up the "floor" or bottom panel in the trunk to reveal where these are located.

STEP 5 - FIND THE NOTCH ON YOUR VEHICLE'S FRAME AND RAISE THE CAR JACK HERE



Place the car jack under the frame of your vehicle on the side near the flat tire that you are going to change. For most modern uni-body vehicles, there is a small notch just behind the front wheels or in front of the rear wheels where the car jack is meant to be placed. Many vehicles have molded plastic along the bottom. And if you don't place the car jack in the correct place, it can crack this plastic when you start lifting the vehicle. If you're unsure of the exact position to place the car jack, you can always check your vehicle's owner's manual.

Once you have found the proper placement for the car jack, raise it until it is firm and supporting, but not lifting, your vehicle.

STEP 6 - LOOSEN THE LUG NUTS



Using the lug wrench that came with your vehicle (and that was likely in your trunk with the spare tire and the car jack), turn the lug nuts COUNTER clockwise. Do not take them all the way off, just loosen them enough to break the resistance. By doing this with your wheel on the ground still, it ensures that you are turning the lug nuts and not the wheel itself.

  • If your vehicle has hubcaps over the wheels, you must remove the hubcap to gain access to the lug nuts.

  • It can often take a lot of effort or force to get your lug nuts loose. If you are unable to do it with your arms, you can also use your body weight to stomp on the lug wrench. However, be sure that you are turning it the correct way before attempting this!


STEP 7 - USE THE CAR JACK TO LIFT THE VEHICLE OFF THE GROUND



Turn/Crank/Pump the car jack in order to lift your vehicle off of the ground. You will need to lift the vehicle high enough to allow you to remove the flat tire and replace it with your spare.

  • As you lift the vehicle, make sure it is stable. If you notice any instability, immediately lower the car jack and correct the issue before attempting to lift it back up.

  • If you notice the car jack lifting at an angle or beginning to lean, immediately lower the car jack and correct the issue before attempting to lift it back up.

NOTE: It is always a good idea to keep an additional small car jack in the vehicle for added safety and security. In case the main car jack gives out while you are changing the tire, having the smaller jack in place will keep you safe.

STEP 8 - COMPLETELY REMOVE THE LUG NUTS



Using your lug wrench and turning it COUNTER clockwise, completely loosen and remove all of the lug nuts from the flat wheel.

STEP 9 - REMOVE THE FLAT TIRE



Once all of the lug nuts have been loosened and completely removed, pull the flat tire off of the vehicle.

  • Sometimes the wheel can stick due to rust. If this occurs, try hitting the inside of the wheel with the lug wrench or a rubber mallet to knock it loose.


STEP 10 - PLACE THE SPARE TIRE ON THE VEHICLE



Align the rim of the spare tire with the wheel bolts and then slide the spare tire onto the vehicle. Be sure to install the spare tire the correct way and not backwards. The valve stem of a tire should face outwards, away from the vehicle.

STEP 11 - TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS UNTIL THEY ARE SNUG



Using the lug wrench, tighten all of the lug nuts until they are snug, but not overly tightened. To ensure the tire is balanced, tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern and tighten them equally. Going in a star pattern (see example below), give each lug nut a full turn before moving on to the next one, keeping them all equally tight.

  • Avoid tightening the lug nuts so much that you risk upsetting the car jack. You will tighten the lug nuts fully once the vehicle is on the ground and there is no risk of it falling.


STEP 12 - LOWER THE CAR TO THE GROUND, FINISH TIGHTENING THE LUG NUTS & REMOVE THE CAR JACK



Turn/Crank/Pump the car jack in the opposite direction in order to lower your vehicle back down onto the ground. Once the car jack is completely down, remove it from under the vehicle. Then, using the lug wrench again, completely tighten the lug nuts as much as you can.

STEP 13 - PLACE THE FLAT TIRE, THE CAR JACK AND THE OTHER TOOLS BACK INTO THE TRUNK



Once the spare tire is firmly on your vehicle and the vehicle is back down on the ground, it's time to clean up! Place the flat tire into the trunk, where the spare tire was, along with the car jack, the lug wrench and any other tools you took out. And TA DA! YOU just changed your tire! CONGRATULATIONS!

Once you have finished changing your tire, contact an automotive service center, like our Monicatti Auto Service Center, and take the flat tire to them. Most small punctures can be repaired rather inexpensively. However, if the tire is no good, they can dispose of it for you and sell you a replacement.

If changing your own tire still feels a bit too difficult, have no fear, we can assist you at MONICATTI AUTO SERVICE CENTER! Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to schedule an appointment TODAY!

(NOTE: Information loosely taken from an article on wikihow.com)

How To Jump Start a Car Battery

HOW TO JUMP START A CAR BATTERY

3/4/2022 - 9:00 AM

Knowing how to jump start a car battery is an extremely valuable skill for
anyone to have. Whether you're an experienced driver or a brand-new
driver, chances are you will encounter a dead battery in your vehicle at
some point in time. So hopefully the following article will help to teach
you what to do if you're ever in that situation.

STEP 1 - CHECK THE BATTERY


First and foremost, you need to determine if the battery is actually dead.

  • Check the headlights. Are they dim or bright? (Note that in some
    cars you will need to turn the ignition on to test the headlights). If
    they are dim, it's likely your battery is dead. If your headlights are
    bright, you do NOT have a dead battery and a jump start will not help.

  • Ensure that the doors will unlock when you push the button on your
    key (keyless entry) or try to open the door from the outside.

  • Check to see if the interior lights work or if the clock or GPS
    (if equipped) move or power on.

  • Put the key into the ignition and see if the dashboard lights up as
    usual and also test the stereo. In most cases, even with a low battery
    you should see some dashboard lights and get some sound out of the
    stereo. If you do not get a flicker from your dashboard, you might have
    a problem with the ignition switch.

  • Try to start the car. If it cranks quickly, you do NOT have a dead battery
    and a jump start will not help. However, if it cranks slowly or not at all,
    you probably have a dead battery.


STEP 2 - OPEN THE VEHICLE'S HOOD AND LOCATE THE BATTERY



After determining that the battery is in fact dead, open the vehicle's hood.
In most cases, you will need to pull the hood release latch inside the
vehicle (most commonly found under the dash or on the floor on the
driver's side). Then, you will need to locate the battery. On most vehicles,
it will be near the front of the vehicle on the right or left side. However,
on some vehicles the battery may be located near the firewall between the
engine and the passenger compartment. In some cases, the battery may
even be located inside the trunk. It can also be possible for the battery to
be buried underneath other components/electronics. If you're not sure,
check your vehicle's manual.

Once the battery is located, identify the positive and negative terminals.

  • The positive terminal will be marked with a plus (+) sign and will
    usually have a red cable attached to it.

  • The negative terminal will be marked with a minus (-) sign and will
    usually have a black cable attached to it.

STEP 3 - PARK THE WORKING/RUNNING VEHICLE NEAR,
BUT NOT TOUCHING, THE DISABLED VEHICLE


Park the working/running vehicle facing the disabled vehicle and get
it as close as possible without touching and allowing room to walk or
move in between. Turn off the engine of the working/running vehicle
and make sure to turn off the radio, lights, heat or A/C and any other
electrical components on BOTH vehicles.

*NOTE* It is VERY IMPORTANT that the vehicles are NOT TOUCHING
as jumping the battery could cause an extremely dangerous electrical arc
between the vehicles.

STEP 4 - WEAR SAFETY GEAR (GOGGLES & GLOVES) IF YOU HAVE IT.

Inspect batteries for cracks, leaks and other damage. If you find any of
these things, do not jump start the vehicle. Call a tow truck instead -
and have it towed to MONICATTI AUTOMOTIVE SALES & SERVICE! ;)
- or replace the battery.

  • Check that the battery cables are firmly connected to the battery posts.
    Loose cables can prevent a vehicle from starting, even if the radio
    and lights seem to be operating. If loose, you can use a properly-sized
    wrench to tighten the cable terminal to the battery post. *NOTE:*
    Avoid touching any other part of the vehicle with the wrench when it is
    on the terminal as a large spark and explosion can occur.

  • If you notice a significant amount of corrosion on the disabled vehicle's
    battery terminals, it might be necessary to remove the battery cables from
    the terminals in order to clean both. Corrosion between the battery and
    cable terminals can prevent a vehicle from starting. It is best to use a stiff
    wire brush to remove all of the corrosion. Reconnect the cables to the battery
    terminals once everything is clean and tighten them down as described above.

  • You might also need to remove the red positive (+) post/terminal protective
    cover if your battery has one.


STEP 5 - UNTANGLE AND UNWIND YOUR JUMPER CABLES


Similar to your vehicle's battery, your jumper cables will likely have
both red and black cables and will also have heavy-duty clamps for
connecting to your vehicle's battery terminals.
*VERY IMPORTANT* Make sure to NEVER let the red and black
jumper cable ends touch once they have been connected to the batteries.
Allowing them to touch can result in serious arcing and/or damage to
one or both vehicles.

STEP 6 - CONNECT THE JUMPER CABLES IN THE ORDER BELOW:

  1. Connect one RED clamp to the positive (+) terminal of the
    DEAD battery.

  2. Connect the other RED clamp to the positive (+) terminal of
    the GOOD battery.

  3. Connect one BLACK clamp to the negative (-) terminal of the
    GOOD battery.

  4. Connect the other BLACK clamp to a piece of grounded metal
    on the disabled vehicle, preferably the bolt where the thick negative
    cable from the battery connects to the chassis. If this is not practical,
    look for shiny metal (not painted or oily) that is attached to the engine.
    Typically a nut, bolt or other protruding shiny metal will work. (You
    might notice a small spark when you connect to a good ground) As a
    last resort, you can connect to the negative (-) terminal of the BAD
    battery. However, this can risk igniting any hydrogen gas coming off
    of the battery.

*NOTE* As mentioned above, some vehicles have the battery buried under
other components/electronics. If this is the case, most vehicles will have the
terminals exposed for jump starting purposes. So you will need to look for the
positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. ALSO, make sure that none of the cables
are hanging down into the engine compartment where they could potentially be
exposed to moving parts once the vehicle is started.

STEP 7 - START THE WORKING/RUNNING VEHICLE


Start the working/running vehicle and let it run or idle for a few minutes.
Then rev the engine a little bit above idle for 30 to 60 seconds. This is
done to charge the dead battery as the starter in the disabled vehicle will
draw most of the required current from the good battery, NOT through the
cables. Charging the dead battery is a MUST! If 30 seconds doesn't do the
trick, try charging for the full 60 seconds by keeping the working/running
engine at a high idle. A good, clean connection between the battery cables
and the battery terminals is essential.

STEP 8 - ATTEMPT TO START THE DISABLED VEHICLE


Attempt to start the disabled vehicle. If it does NOT start, shut both
engines off and disconnect the last connection. Then twist or wiggle
each of the four jumper cable clamps to make sure you have a good
electrical connection. Restart the working/running vehicle again and
allow approximately 5 minutes for charging before attempting to start
the disabled vehicle again. If this still doesn't work after a few attempts,
call a tow truck instead - and have it towed to MONICATTI AUTOMOTIVE
SALES & SERVICE
! ;) - or replace the battery.

If the disabled vehicle DOES start, proceed to the next step.

STEP 9 - REMOVE THE JUMPER CABLES


Once the disabled vehicle has been started, remove the jumper cables
in the REVERSE order from which they were attached.
*NOTE* As mentioned previously, do NOT allow the clamps to touch
each other and make sure the cables do NOT hang down into the engine
compartment.

  1. Disconnect the BLACK clamp from the grounded metal on the
    previously disabled vehicle (or from the negative (-) terminal of
    the previously DEAD battery if you ended up attaching it to that).

  2. Disconnect the BLACK clamp from the negative (-) terminal of
    the GOOD battery.

  3. Disconnect the RED clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the
    GOOD battery.

  4. Disconnect the RED clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the
    previously DEAD battery.

*NOTE* Replace the red positive (+) post/terminal protective cover if
your battery has one. This cover can help prevent accidentally short
circuiting the battery.

STEP 10 - ALLOW THE PREVIOUSLY DISABLED/NOW RUNNING
VEHICLE TO RUN FOR A WHILE.


Once everything has been disconnected and the jumper cables have been
put away, close the hood of both vehicles. The originally working/running
vehicle can be moved and turned off. HOWEVER, allow the engine of the
previously disabled vehicle to continue running for 5-10 minutes before
shutting it off. This should give the battery enough of a charge to start again.

At this point, shut off the vehicle and then attempt to restart it. If the vehicle starts,
you are good to go. If it does NOT start, you may have a dead battery or even
a bad or dying alternator. In which case, you need to contact MONICATTI
AUTOMOTIVE SALES & SERVICE
! ;)

*IF ALL ELSE FAILS, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR MONICATTI AUTOMOTIVE
SERVICE CENTER AT 1-844-463-6722 OR FILL OUT OUR ONLINE CONTACT FORM
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT AND WE WILL GET YOU BACK UP AND RUNNING!*

(Note: Information taken from an article posted on the WikiHow website.)

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