Easy Ways to Handle Road Trouble. How to change a spare tire and jump start your vehicle

flat_tireEasy Ways to Handle Road Trouble Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck?  Have you ever been waiting on the side of the road for someone to stop and help?  Have you ever had your car not start when leaving work? I am sure most people have at one point in their life ran into these problems.  These are all problems that with a couple simple reminders and several things that everyone should include in their vehicle can be fixed. The common problem of having a flat tire or having a dead battery when you go to start your car is common.  For the average person maybe you do not know what to do if you are stuck in this situation.  Well here are the step by step instructions on how to remove your flat and install your spare, and how to jump start a vehicle.  We will start out by discussing the removal and installation of a new tire, and then we will discuss how to jumpstart your vehicle the correct way.   The Procedure for installing a spare tire

  1. Make sure to pull your vehicle onto the shoulder and give yourself plenty of space to work on whatever side you have your flat tire on.
  2. Go into the trunk or under your vehicle or under the seat and locate your lug nut wrench, your jack, and your spare tire.
  3. Once you have found these you will have to get your spare tire out and roll it near where your flat tire is at.
  4. Now take out your jack (which should include a steel rod to turn it and raise it) and place near the flat tire.
  5. Now for the untrained person it might be hard to identify what to jack your vehicle on.  So you want to look under your vehicle.  You will need a heavy metal piece that is not going to break when supporting your vehicle.  I would recommend looking for an axle, which is where the tires attach or an A arm on the suspension.  Both of these should be located near the tire.  The axle runs the whole width of the car and should have your suspension related components attached to it.  It is a big cylinder and heavy duty.  This is a good place to jack.  Another place is you’re A arm which is right under you struts or shocks and suspension related components.  This usually is right behind the wheel it is big and heavy duty.
  6. Now that you have located a good jack point, you’re going to want to place your jack on flat concrete.  Once you have done this and positioned your jack under the correct area that we determined above your ready to start jacking.
  7. Now hook the rod onto the jack and turn it.  This also depends on what kind of jack you have too regardless you want your jack to raise up.  You want to slowly raise your jack until it just makes contact with the area you’re going to jack. Make sure that it is sturdy.
  8. Now before you jack anymore you are going to want to loosen the lug nuts.  So take your lug wrench and put it on one of the lug nuts.  Remember lefty loosey righty tighty.  So turn the wrench to the left, it will be difficult because the lug nuts are on tight.  After you have broken them all loose, continue to jack the car up until the tire is off the ground.
  9. Now remove all of your lug nuts and set them aside.
  10. Remove the flat tire and set aside.
  11. Set the spare tire onto the bolts that are showing.  Make sure it is slid all the way back.
  12. Now take your lug nuts and twist them on using your hand.  You should be able to get them on a little ways by only using your hand.
  13. Now tighten them pretty tight in a star pattern going criss cross until they are pretty tight.
  14. Now lower the car.
  15. Take your lug wrench and really tighten the lug nuts using the criss cross pattern.  You want to get them tight, but do not really torque on them or you can break the bolts off of the hub.
  16. Now remove your jack and set your flat tire in your trunk, and put all of your tools back from where you found them.
  17. Now you are ready to go.
  18. It is not recommended to exceed 50 mph with your spare tire on.  Also make sure to go to the nearest service station.  The spare tires are not made to be driven on for lots of miles.

Now that we have discussed the problem of having a flat tire and fixing it we will discuss what to do when your car doesn’t start because it has a dead battery.  To get your vehicle to start when you have a dead battery you will need to jump start your car with jumper cables or use a portable pocket size jump starter which is the latest in lithium technology like the Cal Van 540 or Crank SDCP01 Juice Bar. The instructions for using a portable device is included with the kit and is extremely simple. The advantage is being able to restart your car when you don’t have cables and another vehicle available.    The Procedure to jump start a dead battery using another vehicle’s power source

  1. Place your car in park.
  2. Find a person who is near you that has a vehicle.  Usually most people will help to jump start your car.
  3. You will need to have a set of jumper cables.  You can use these ATD Booster Cable 6 gauge 16′ 400 Amp clamps.  So hopefully after reading this article you will go out and buy a set of jumper cables just in case, they are a small investment and come in handy when stranded.
  4. Now you will have to have the other person position their vehicle in front of yours with their hood open.
  5. Before jump starting your vehicle you will need to check to make sure that your battery is in good shape and does not have any cracks, these cracks will lead to weak spots and explode the battery.
  6. Now with both cars off and everything in the dead car off and unplugged you are ready to start.  The reason to have everything unplugged or off is because of the fact that the other vehicle will be putting a lot more current into your car than it is used to which can lead to failure or destruction of any items left on.
  7. Now these next steps are crucial.  They must be followed in order.  First take the positive cable the red of the booster cable and connect it to the positive terminal the + on the dead battery.
  8. Next take the positive cable to the positive post of the good battery and connect it.
  9. Next take the black cable on the jumper cables and connect to the negative terminal the- on the battery on the good car.
  10. Finally take the last black cable and connect to a good piece of metal on the dead car this should be unpainted and not have dirt on it.  If you can’t find anything the negative terminal will do on the dead battery, it may spark but it should be fine.
  11. Now start the good vehicle.  Let it run for a little bit and have that driver rev the engine while the car is in park.
  12. After a little bit you can try to start your car.
  13. If it just clicks, wait a little longer and try again.
  14. Eventually your car will start.
  15. Now once your vehicle is started leave it running and remove the battery cables in reverse order.
  16. Remove the black cable from the ground on the dead car.
  17. Then the ground from the battery on the good car.
  18. Next the positive from the positive post on the good car.
  19. Finally the positive from the positive post on the dead car.

After you are all finished with this thank the person for helping you.  Now let your vehicle run for a couple minutes to charge the battery.  Now you can head home, and once at home you should test to see if your car will start after it has been shut off for a couple minutes.  If it does then this is good you just left your lights on or something similar, if it doesn’t then this means that you may have a bad component in your charging system and will need to take your vehicle in for some further checks. Even with knowing what to do in the case that you have a flat tire or a dead battery, it is still a good idea to be prepared.  Make sure that your car has the spare tire, lug wrench, jack, and jumper cables in it or this information will be useless. Written by: Cody Mammenga an NDSCS Student

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