Difficulties Removing a Flat Tire

Every tower knows how to change a tire but just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you won’t experience difficulties from time to time.

If you haven’t had this one yet, you will.

You’ve arrived and find your customer has a flat.  With safety in mind you pull your truck behind the customer’s car and put on your lights.  She directs you to the spare in the trunk; you remove it and get started.  You then politely ask that she stay out of traffic and direct her away from oncoming cars.

The next step is to be sure that you’re on level ground and that the car is out of the way of traffic.  If you’re on the highway and too close to the white line you can drive the car forward-and-to-the-right as much as necessary. This will make your job safer, but go slow so as to avoid damaging the tire and rim.

You get started; after applying the parking-brake, loosening the lug nuts, jacking up the car, and removing all the lug nuts you are unable to remove the wheel.  The wheel should just fall off but it won’t budge. It feels like it’s superglued to the hub.

This isn’t unusual; sometimes moisture will get between a wheel and its hub and fuse the two together in a seemingly unbreakable bond.  But there is a solution.

There are two methods for removing this wheel. Of course you should do everything possible to be safe and avoid damage.  First; you should be sure that the parking-brake is still engaged. And never try this if doing so requires you to be in oncoming traffic, if that’s the case the vehicle will need to be towed.  Second; never put any part of your body including your arms and legs under a vehicle that’s suspended on a jack or jack-stands.

  1. Using a wooden block and a small sledge hammer place the block on one side of the tire and rim and hit it with the sledge hammer. Then place it on the other side and hit it again.  Continue doing this all around the tire and rim until the wheel becomes dislodged.  Of course you should do everything possible to avoid damaging the rim. And don’t hit it so hard that the car falls off the jack.
  2. You can also just kick it. There are two ways of doing this. The first is to stand with your back to the tire and using the heel of your boot kick it on one side and then the other until it is dislodged.  The other way is to sit facing the tire and alternate kicks to the right and left sides.  Again avoiding any damage to the rim.  Again; don’t kick it so hard that the car falls of the jack and only do this if you can remain out of oncoming traffic.