It’s quite easy to change a tire. However, what do you do if you don’t have a jack — one of the most basic tire changing tools — on you? Can you still change your tires? Even though the jack has so many uses and aids in changing a flat tire, it’s still possible to perform this task without one.
This article is a comprehensive guide on how to change a tire without a jack!
Safety Measures to Take Before Changing Your Tires
You should ensure you take some safety precautions while changing your tires for both your benefit and the benefit of other road users.
- Make sure you’re parked away from traffic. Ensure you’re in a safe location. If you’re in the dark, use a flashlight and be cautious of your environment.
- After you park your car, turn it off, and then engage your emergency brake.
- Make sure you’re parked in a place that’s away from the road but still allows your car to be seen by other incoming drivers.
- Keep your caution lights turned on. Placing cones behind and in front of your car works too.
What Supplies Will You Need?
- A shovel or an adjustable wrench to dig
- A spare tire
- Towels, rags, safety gloves, etc
- A blocking material like rocks or a log of wood
- A tire iron
- A tire pressure gauge
- A star screwdriver
How to Find a Substitute for a Jack
Usually, a jack lifts the car up so the tire is a few inches off the ground, making it easier to work with. If you don’t have a jack, you need to find a way to lift the tire off the ground. You can do that with any of the following methods:
1. Dig the Ground Method
This method works when you don’t have a lever, ramp, or anything that can lift your car off the ground. Since it’s impossible to dig concrete, you will need to park your car in an area with dirt or sand. As a safety precaution, place a wooden block or anything strong enough between the axel and the ground.
You can now go ahead and dig with a wrench, stick, or any material that can do the job. The hole you dig should be big and deep enough for you to access the flat tire and remove it.
2. Use the Ramp Method
This is another great way to elevate your car. For this, you can either use a plastic ramp or a steel one. Place the ramp next to the good tire that’s on the same side as the flat one. Adding blocks under the ramp will help lift the flat tire even more, so add some if you don’t have enough space to work with. You’ll want to be careful because the ramp may not be able to support the weight of the car. If not, there are still more options to choose from.
3. Use a Curb or Slope
An additional way to lift your car is taking advantage of a slope or curb. You need to park your car in a way that’s going to lift the flat tire off the ground. Reverse into a slope if you want the front wheels raised and drive upwards if you want the back lifted.
Watch how to use a curb or slope to change tires.
How to Change a Tire Without a Jack
1. Find a Blocking Material
The importance of this is to keep the entire vehicle in one place while you work. If you’re changing the front tires, your blocking tool should be at the back tires and vice versa. If you have a wheel block, you shouldn’t have any difficulty with this step.
Please keep in mind that you should only perform this step after you have taken several safety precautions. After you have a block in place, you can now lift your car. Make sure there’s nothing in your way that would disturb you while you work.
2. Work the Tire
Remove your flat tire by removing the nuts on the tire with a tire iron. Pair your tire iron with lug wrenches to make things easier and faster. Sometimes, working with a lug nut is much harder and it takes time to remove, so patience is key at this stage.
3. Get Your Spare Tire
Place your backup tire so that the rim fits into the stud. Place the nuts you had previously removed through the rim holes into their respective places. Tighten them with your hand first, then tighten them with either a star screwdriver or a tire iron. Tighten your lug nuts across in a crisscross way rather than in a circle.
4. Set and Ready to Go
Use the tire pressure gauge to check the air pressure of the spare tire you just fixed. You’re now ready to start your car and take it off the emergency brake. If you’ve dug a hole, slowly climb out of it. Place your mechanical tools and flat tire in your trunk and cover up the hole you dug.
How Often Should You Change Your Car Tire?
Maintenance goes a long way in promoting the longevity of your vehicle. How often you change your car tire is mostly dependent on the type of tire you’re using, your car, and how often you drive. The roads you drive on are also a factor to consider.
A quality tire can last for years. Experts say that changing your tires every six years is sufficient. However, if you want to change your car tires every two years or even yearly, that’s up to you.
You should keep in mind that it’s more advisable to change all four tires at the same time rather than doing them one after the other.
Sometimes, we find ourselves unprepared. But if you don’t have a jack, there’s no reason to stress about changing your tire. This comprehensive guide on how to change a tire without a jack shows that it is doable and easy. All you have to do is follow the steps outlined and ensure you maintain your car tires regularly.