What is spare tire installation all about?

When you’re stuck with an airless tire, you need to install a spare tire to avoid damaging your rims or other vehicle components. More importantly, driving on a flat tire leads to unsafe handling, potentially causing erratic movement.
Luckily, most vehicles come with a spare tire and the tools required to replace it. The spare tires included with your vehicle should only be used as a temporary measure, as they’re not meant for use above 55 miles per hour.

How much does it cost to install a spare tire?

A spare tire installation costs between $60 to $150 on average for labor, minus the cost of the spare tire.
For a standard car tire, you’ll pay between $100 to $1000, depending on your vehicle’s make and model.

How do I know if I need to install a spare tire?

If you hear a grinding sound while driving, you might need to install a spare tire—this could indicate a flat or failing wheel. Otherwise, if your tire no longer inflates due to cuts, bubbles, cracks, punctures, or other damage, you’ll need to replace it. In some cases, you might be able to have your tire repaired. For instance, if there’s a puncture less than a ¼ inch diameter on the tread area, a mechanic can likely repair the tire vs. replacing it.

How to change a flat tire

There are several steps required to change a flat tire, but it’s a fairly simple process as long as you have a jack, lug wrench, and spare tire. Follow these steps to get back on the road safely:
  1. Slowly reduce your speed, turn on your hazards, and pull over in the safest location possible, like an empty parking lot. Avoid changing your tire on a narrow shoulder at all costs.
  2. Engage your emergency brakes to minimize the possibility of your vehicle rolling.
  3. Apply wheel wedges or heavy objects, like bricks or stones, diagonal to the tire you need to replace.
  4. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover before you lift up your vehicle with the jack. Consult your car’s manual if you have difficulty with this step, as some hubcaps need different tools to remove them.
  5. Raise the vehicle with the jack until the flat tire is about six inches off the ground. 
    Do not put your body underneath the vehicle in case the jack fails.
  6. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire gently towards you to remove it from the hub.
  7. Mount the spare tire on the lug bolts and then tighten the lug nuts back into the bolts.
  8. Lastly, lower your vehicle, tighten the lug nuts one more time, and reinstall the hubcap.
Remember, using a spare tire is a temporary measure. You should take your vehicle to the mechanic as soon as possible after a spare tire installation. If you need help, call a roadside assistant service to tow your vehicle to the nearest auto shop.

How to find cheap car insurance

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