A Woman’s Guide to Changing a Tire

It’s different changing a tire on a car, or especially an SUV, for a woman than it is for a man. This is because women don’t have the upper body strength required to lift a tire into place or loosen lug nuts. The five critical tips for women below on changing a tire can mean all the difference between being self-sufficient while out on the road or at the mercy of someone else.

Before getting to the tips, though, here is a short 8-step process for changing a car tire:

  1. Step 1: Loosen the lug nuts on the tire you’re going to be working on.
  2. Step 2: Jack up the car nearest the flat tire. Raise it enough so that the tire is at least an inch clear of the ground.
  3. Step 3: Remove the already loosened lug nuts.
  4. Step 4: Remove the tire by pulling it directly towards you.
  5. Step 5: Put on the replacement tire.
  6. Step 6: Put on the lug nuts, but only tighten them a little bit.
  7. Step 7: Jack the car back down.
  8. Step 8: Tighten the lug nuts.

Okay, that’s the basic process; now on with the special tips for women.

1 – Get a ramp.

In order for you to get the tire up into the air and in line with where the tire goes, get yourself a small ramp. Ramps are available at most car parts stores. What they are normally used for is driving so as to lift the front end of a car so a person can work underneath. What you will use it for is rolling the tire up to that the tire will be level with where the tire goes on the car. And also back down for the flat if you wish.

2 – Buy a drill that works in the car lighter.

They sell drills at most hardware stores. Get one that can plug into the cigarette lighter of your car. Then, buy a bit for it that will fit the lug nuts on your car (lug nuts are what hold the tire to the car). This way, if the lug nuts are too tight for you to loosen, simply plug in your drill and use it. Note that drills have a place on them for shifting the direction in which the bit will turn. Make sure you have it set to counter-clockwise, so you’ll be loosening the lug nuts rather than tightening them.

3 – Put a blanket and gloves in the trunk.

Changing a tire is a dirty business. You’re going to have to get down on one or both knees to get it done, so you probably ought to have a blanket for putting on the ground. The gloves will help you keep your hands clean. And if you’re concerned about your clothes, you might as well keep an apron in the trunk as well.

4 – Practice beforehand.

Don’t expect to be able to change a tire without practice. It’s not as simple and easy as it looks. Most cars have an instruction sheet that comes with the car. If yours doesn’t, get online and find out how yours works.

5 – Always carry a cell phone.

Any time you’re driving farther than you’d like to walk, if something happens to your car, carry a cell phone with you. Not only will it help if you get a flat, but it’ll come in mighty handy if you have engine trouble or have an accident.

These five critical tips for women on changing a car tire can and should be used by any woman that drives. If you are a woman, I hope you will heed this advice because you never know when you might be out there on the road looking at a flat tire. Good luck!

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