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snow and ice

Get Ready for the Snow and Ice

Here are some important winter driving and safety tips

By | News, Repair Tips, Safety

Before you venture out into the snow and ice this winter, be sure that you have winter tires to increase your safety on the road.

Purchase the Jack and Jill of All Tires to help you change your winter tires today!

 

Even though driving may feel like second nature, when the weather changes the road conditions, we must be extra cautious to ensure the safety of ourselves and others.

 

Here are some tips to help navigate through the snow and ice:

 

Drive Slowly

Slow and steady really wins the race! When there’s lots of snow and ice on the ground, driving in slower speeds will help your tires gain more traction and control while on the road.

Keep Your Distance

The more space you keep between you and the vehicle in front, the more time you have to stop or react to sudden action on the road.

Keep Moving

Don’t stop on snow or ice if you can avoid it. It’s difficult to regain inertia when your tires have stopped moving, so we suggest keeping a steady pace when making a turn or approaching a light (U.S. News & World Report).

How to prevent problems on the road

 

While driving cautiously can help you be safe on the road, there are other ways you can ensure safety throughout your vehicle and travels:

 

1. Plan your trip and check for weather and road conditions.

Check weather updates from your local news station OR use a weather app on your phone to get the latest conditions of where you are and where you’re going.

2. If you’re in an area that receives snow, consider winter tires.

Check out our previous blog post to learn about this seasons’ weather predictions across Canada and U.S.

3. Carry extra windshield fluid.

Winter aka ‘washer fluid season’ calls for lots of dirt, salt and debris on the road that will impact your visibility while driving. It’s always important to be topped up, but especially during the winter months. Keeping extra washer fluid in your car is a great way to stay safe on the road.

4. Pack an emergency kit.

You can’t plan for an accident – so it’s important to be prepared for when one happens. Keeping a compact emergency kit in your vehicle will get you through the more common dead batteries to more serious roadside incidences. The Get Jacked Safety Kit comes with the tools you need to get yourself out of trouble and items to keep you comfortable until help arrives.

 

snow and ice

 

“Prevention is better than recovery.” 

 

Be sure to check your battery, ignition system, lights, brakes, tire pressure, windshield wipers, heating and cooling systems!

 

Safe travels this winter.

 

 

 

Winter Accessories

5 Game-Changing Winter Driving Accessories

Here is a list of 5 game-changing winter accessories you didn't know you needed.

By | Accessories, Repair Tips, Safety, Tires

Aside from the obvious jumper cables, first aid kit, washer fluid, snow brush and ice scraper, there are a few more essentials that every motorist should have in their car during winter.

Here are Jack and Jill’s top 5 winter accessories from Amazon:

 

1. Windshield Snow Cover

Not only does this cover keep the snow off your windshield, it also saves you from scraping the frost and ice. This accessory will ultimately save you time in the morning for an easier and faster getaway!

2. De-Icer

So your windshield is winter-proofed but your door is iced shut…now what?

A can of de-icer can go a long way. Without damaging your cars’ paint, a quick spray will have the frost and ice instantly melted, giving your arms a well deserved break from scraping.

 

Now that you’ve made your way into your car, there’s a few more accessories to keep you warm and safe.

 

3. Regular or Electrical Blanket

Electrical or not, a blanket is a great piece to have on hand for any drive.

4. Unscented Candle

There’s nothing worse than your car suddenly shutting down on the side of the road while it’s below zero. Lighting a large unscented candle will warm up your vehicles’ cabin area long enough to keep you comfortable until help arrives.

You’re stuck, now what?

 

5. Cat Litter

Not an obvious winter accessory but when you’re stuck in snow or on ice, sprinkle some under your tires. Cat litter will help you gain traction so you can get back on the road.

 

Consider using these accessories to keep yourself prepared and safe this winter!

 

Salt

Protect Your Vehicle from Road Salt this Winter

3 ways to help protect your car from salt, snow, dirt and debris.

By | Car Cleaning, News, Repair Tips, Safety

Although we may love the idea of a beautiful White Christmas, your car sure doesn’t. If you’re driving on the road often, your vehicle may pick up lots of dirt, salt, rocks and other debris hidden in the snow.

 

Here are 3 ways to keep the exterior and interior of your car clean this winter:

 

1. Paint Protector

Winter weather conditions take a toll on the exterior of your car. Just like when you wear gloves, a hat, and coats to endure the snow and cold, your car also deserves some added protection.

Your vehicle’s paint protects the metal from outside elements like ice, salt and debris. Using paint protector will keep the paint in shape and ensure your vehicle is not exposed to corrosive properties (washmenow.ca).

Now is the perfect time to add a layer of protection to your car before the snow and salt start hitting the road. You can either purchase a paint protector and apply it yourself or take your car to a detail shop.

Salt

3. A Car Wash Goes a Long Way

One element of winter driving that causes the most exterior damage to your vehicle is road salt. Salt on the road does have benefits for safer driving, however it can cause some damage to your exterior over time.

In-N-Out-Car-Wash explains that “Salt can get into all the cracks and crevasses of your car, waiting for the spring when the weather warms up and it actively starts to produce rust and corrosion.”

Washing your car throughout the winter season is a great way to keep the bottom and sides of your car clean and prevent rust or deterioration.

There are a few options to choose from when washing your car this winter:

  1. A single wash at your local gas station, estimated between $7.99-$14.99 CAD depending on the service
  2. Specialty car wash shops such as In-N-Out-Car-Wash
  3. Season passes offered at local gas stations

 

Salt

3. Don’t Forget to Look Down

Salt, snow, mud and dirt not only make a mess of your exterior but also collect inside. When getting into a vehicle, most of us are focused on getting away from the cold that we don’t pay attention to the mess we bring in.

If you haven’t done so already, look into purchasing rubber floor mats for your car. Even though most cars have a rubber base, a mat will make cleaning out dirt and salt much easier and allow you to keep it clean more often.

Tip: To clean the mats themselves, use a rim and tire cleaner to get rid of the stains the salt leaves behind.

Salt

 

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winter tires

Winter vs. All-Season Tires: What works best?

Get the right tires for the right conditions.

By | News, Safety, Tires

The winter season is quickly approaching and it’s time to start thinking about changing your tires!

 

When it comes to the winter season, it’s important to take extra precautions when driving. The weather conditions and cold temperatures have a drastic effect on the function of your regular car tires. So, it’s important to consider changing to winter tires once the temperature starts to drop even if you don’t see the snow!

Why are winter tires so important?

 

Many parts of Canada and the United States experience extreme winter conditions that make driving very difficult and hazardous. Although all-season tires can somewhat navigate through snow and ice, they may not fully perform well in extreme cases; making winter tires a necessity on the road.

Studies show that at 7° C (44° F), the rubber on all-season tires will stiffen up and begin to have less traction on the road.

 

Enoch Omololu states that “the main difference between winter and all-season tires is in the rubber compound used to make them. Winter tires are made of softer rubber that remains flexible when temperatures drop and maintain a grip on the road. In addition, winter tires have deeper threads that allow for a bigger bite and traction on snow and ice.”

Where are winter tires mandatory?

 

In Canada there are only two provinces that have legal regulations for winter tires:

British Columbia

  • Many roads in BC require winter OR all-season tires between October 1st and March 31st
  • Some places outside of the Greater Vancouver and Victoria regions (mountainous regions) require tire chains/studded tires
  • A failure to follow these requirements will result in a fine of $109

Quebec

  • The previous mandatory date for changing to winter tires was December 15th but has been moved up to December 1st through to March 15th as of 2019, in efforts to increase road safety and encourage other parts of Canada to follow by example
  • This includes every type of motorized vehicle
  • Failure to comply with this regulation may result in a fine between $200-$300

United States

Throughout the United States there are no regulations that legally require you to have winter tires. However, it’s recommended that people driving within the Snow Belt, an area subject to low temperatures and heavy snowfalls, should consider changing to winter tires.

 

 

How can the Jack and Jill of All Tires help?

 

Of course it’s simple to make an appointment at your local mechanic to get your winter tires changed. But why go through the inconvenience of taking time off work and waiting around because of the inevitable delays, just to do it all again in 5 months time? With the Jack and Jill of All Tires you can change your tires on your own schedule.

The average cost of a tire change is $60 CAD, and that’s just for one car for one season! The minimum cost of having your tires changed for you would be around $120 CAD, and at a retail price of $220 CAD, the Jack and Jill of All Tires will pay for itself within two years. Now imagine the time and money you’ll save if you have more than one car to maintain!

  • Having a mechanic change your tires could take hours.
  • Changing them on your own could take 40 minutes.
  • And ordering a Jack and Jill will only take 5

 

Order your Jack and Jill of All Tires today and change your tires by the weekend.

 

The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Winter Predictions

Want to know know more about the upcoming winter season? Find out more with some winter weather predictions.

By | News, Safety

The Old Farmer’s Almanac and how it can help you:

 

In preparation for the winter season, it’s important to do some research about what the upcoming weather predictions will be. The Old Farmer’s Almanac; more specifically the long range forecast is the perfect source! The forecast accuracy is about 80 % due to the gathering and study of overall weather patterns. 

The long range forecast can predict weather patterns and temperatures for up to two months, so it’s a perfect source to consider when thinking about changing your tires. 

The Farmer’s Almanac bases its forecasts on three scientific disciplines:

  • solar science (the study of sunspots and other solar activity)
  • climatology (the study of prevailing weather patterns)
  • meteorology (the study of the atmosphere)

In making accurate predictions, the information is gathered amongst different regions throughout the United States and Canadian Provinces.

Canadian winters really portray the perfect ‘white Christmas’, however, if you live in Ontario you may experience a harsher winter than the other provinces with temperatures and snowfall expected to be greater than normal.

 

Atlantic Canada

  • Includes: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and part of Québec.
  • Winter temperatures will be normal with the coldest period beginning mid-December to early March. Precipitation will be below normal in the north but above normal in the south. The snowfall will be above average beginning mid November to early February.  

Southern Quebec

  • Winter temperatures will be normal with the coldest periods in early December to late February. The snowfall will be generally below normal but the snowiest period will be from late November to late March.

Southern Ontario

  • Winter temperatures, precipitation and snowfall will be above average. The coldest period will be from mid-November to early March while the snowiest period will be from early December to early March.

The Prairies 

  • Includes: Southern Alberta, Southern Manitoba and Southern Saskatchewan.
  • Temperatures will be higher than normal with above normal precipitation. It will be the coldest beginning in early January through early March. The snowfall will be below average in the west but above average everywhere else with the snow beginning mid-November to early April

Southern British Columbia

  • Winter will be colder with above normal precipitation and below normal snowfall. The coldest and snowiest period being from mid-December to mid-February. 

Northwest Territories and Yukon 

  • Winter temperatures, precipitation and snowfall will be above normal.
  • For the Northwest Territories, the coldest period will be from early January to mid-February while the snowiest period will be from mid-November to late December.
  • While in Yukon the coldest period will be from late November to early March and the snowiest period from mid-November until early February.
The winter season throughout the United States varies depending on what region you live in. Those who live further north, specifically in the snowbelt, will experience different ranges of temperatures and snowfall this year.
Keep reading to learn more about your location.

 

 

1.Northeast Region 

  • Includes (parts of): Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.
  • The winter will be milder than normal with above normal precipitation and normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be throughout January and the snowiest periods will be from mid-November to early January

2. Atlantic Corridor 

  • Includes (parts of): Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, NY, NJ, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. 
  • The winter temperatures will be above average with the coldest period being between mid-January to late February. Precipitation will be above normal while the snowfall will be a little below average. The snowiest period will be throughout February.  

6. Lower lakes region 

  • Includes (parts of): Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, NY, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 
  • Winter will be normal with above average precipitation. The coldest periods will be from early December to mid-January. The snowfall will be above normal, specifically in Ohio, and the snowiest period will be from early January to late March. 

9. Upper Midwest

  • Includes (parts of): Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota.
  • The winter temperatures will be above normal with the coldest and snowiest periods taking place from early January to late March.

 

If you live in any of these regions and are expecting snow beginning early November, consider changing your tires with the Jack and Jill of All Tires to be prepared for this upcoming winter!

 

For further information about daily, monthly and yearly weather predictions in your region, you can head over to the Almanac website and discover more about general weather and temperature patterns.

 

5 Driving Habits You Should Break

Texting? Eating? Loud music? Learn how some of these habits are dangerous on the road!

By | Repair Tips, Safety

For most people driving has become second nature. Doing an activity so seamlessly every day can cause us to pick up some bad habits that could potentially put us in danger on the road!

 

1. Using your cellphone

We know by now that texting or talking on the phone is the most dangerous habit to have while driving. Our attention is focused on our device and not on the road, and is a major cause of distraction and accidents. Different provinces and states have their own legal ways of controlling the use of devices while driving.

For the safety of yourself and others on the road, be sure to put your phone away or pull over to send a text or take an important phone call.

2. Eating while driving

With all of these quick drive-thru options, it’s hard to resist grabbing your morning coffee with a quick breakfast, or getting an easy lunch on the go. However, eating while driving is a habit that is just as dangerous as being on the phone.

Your mind is attempting to focus on the road while also eating, drinking and trying not to make a mess. It’s best as the driver to finish your food before heading back on the road or wait until you reach your destination. 

 

bad habits: eating while driving

3. Entertaining your passengers

Your vehicle is an easy place to socialise with your family or friends. Whether it’s engaging in conversation, playing a movie for those in the back or trying to talk with everyone; it can all be too distracting.

Again your mind is focusing on the people, the conversations and the other things around you. Your attention may draw towards what’s happening inside the car rather than outside of it.

As a driver, you hold a responsibility to keep your passengers safe, so attempting to entertain them while also focusing on the road is a bad habit

4. Pets

Who wouldn’t want their best friend riding shot-gun? Having your pet beside you may seem like a good idea, however trying to drive while also taking care of your pet that needs attention is dangerous for not only you but the dog as well.  A dog on your lap limits your ability to manoeuvre the car, especially during a collision. Even in the passenger’s seat, your dog could be severely injured by an airbag. 

 

Results from a AAA NEWSROOM SURVEY included this statistic:

An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph (48 Kph) will exert roughly 300 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert approximately 2,400 pounds of pressure.

 

The safest place to keep your dog is in the backseat secured by a seatbelt seatbelt or in a crate!

 

5. Loud music 

Of course we all love to belt out to our favourite tunes! And if you don’t turn into a professional karaoke singer when you drive, are you even driving? But this little habit can have you singing and dancing in your seat and cause you to lose focus on the road.

We aren’t saying to never play your music, but make sure to keep the volume at a level where you can pay attention to the road and your surroundings; more importantly so you can hear other drivers and first responders. 

Bad Habits

Make your drive safer for you and your passengers by breaking these 5 habits!

 

Want to learn more about safety tips on the road? Check out our other blog posts here for more information about tire safety and travel tips!

 

Travel Tips for Back to School

Worried about getting a flat tire on the road? Here are some tips to get you or your child to school safely!

By | News, Repair Tips

When getting ready to drive on the highway, it’s important to be prepared for the long journey. Flat tires happen often on these types of trips and there are simple ways to prevent or limit this hazard.

 

What Can Cause a Flat Tire:

Tire Pressure

  • Over or under-inflated tires can cause lots of damage to your vehicle. So, before heading on the road it’s very important to check your tire pressure. The recommended PSI for your vehicle’s tires is located on the panel on the inside of the driver’s side door.

However, a common mistake that is often overlooked is the effect that extra weight has on your tires.

  • When you are moving back to school, be cautious when overloading your vehicle with excess weight your tires are not used to carrying. If too much weight is sitting on a tire, it can cause a blowout (same effect as sitting on a balloon). So be sure to compensate for the extra weight and distribute an even pressure amongst all four tires.

Poor Road Maintenance/Construction Zones

  • Flat tires and highway construction zones go hand in hand. Many major highways have areas that are under construction for either maintenance, extensions or upgrades.
  • When driving through these areas, be sure to slow down and look ahead for signs of construction debris such as nails and glass and also try to avoid unmaintained pot holes or rough paving spots. It is important to note that “if the hit is hard enough, it can damage the tire, either on the outside where one can see it or on the inside where the damage is hidden” (Wheels.ca). Concluding that the damage could be instant or the wear and tear on your tires could result over a few months.

It’s a Blowout! Common Causes of Flat Tires

Hot Weather

High temperatures cause the air in your tires to expand, increasing the tire’s overall internal pressure and the chances that you’ll spring a leak or blowout altogether. During warm weather, be sure to monitor your tire pressure regularly and do what you can to avoid overinflation.

How to prepare for your trip

  • Plan your route and consider alternative ways in case of road closures
  • Follow your local news outlets for updates on highway traffic and accidents
  • Check your vehicle and tires before and during your trip

How we can help

 

We carry two products that were created for the safety of our daughters who also endured these long road trips to and from school throughout the years. Click the link to check out Our Story.

The Jack and Jill of All Tires

Essential for long drives, The Jack and Jill of All Tires is a simple and compact tool that can be stored in the trunk of your car – making changing your tires on the road safe and easy!

Our website also includes a detailed step-by-step process so you can learn to change your tires wherever you are.

Get Jacked Safety Tool Kit

Our Get Jacked safety kit is a must have no matter your destination, so you’ll always prepared in case of an emergency.

Safety Kit includes:
Bag
Compact Snow Shovel
Candles & Matches
Hand Warmers
Emergency Blanket
‘Call Police’ Banner
Flashlight – Batteries
Booster Cables
Emergency Tow Rope
Whistle

Contents of safety kit

 

It’s important to be aware of how to maintain your tires and prevent damage as much as possible.

 

Safe travels!

5 Tips for A Perfect Wash

Washing your car at home is easier than it seems!

By | Car Cleaning, Repair Tips

While battling between rocks, mud, snow and salt; our car’s exterior takes a big hit while on the road.

But surprisingly, many of the paint’s scratches and impurities are caused from improper washing – whether it’s from using the wrong tools or going through soft cloth car washes.

 

Follow these five steps for a professional wash at home!

 

Washing:

 

1. First and foremost, rinse your car in order to remove larger debris and dirt. While washing, park your car in a shaded area to prevent sun spots from forming before you get to the drying stage.

2. Washing mitt or brush – what works best?

It makes sense to choose a long brush with tough bristles to successfully remove dirt. However, this can actually cause more damage to the paint, “Sponges, towels and brushes push the dirt across the paint and leave scratches as a result” (Autoblog).

For this reason, a microfiber or lambswool wash mitt is your best friend for a scratch-free wash!

3.  1 bucket, 2 buckets, 3 buckets  MORE!

Most people don’t think about using more than one bucket. But it is important that you don’t wash your car with dirty water throughout the process. Make sure to have one bucket for soap and water, and another for rinsing. You can even use a third bucket for washing your car tires, as they tend to be extra dirty.

Drying:

 

4. Parking in the shade to avoid sun spots will make drying your car much easier. More importantly, using a chamois or microfiber cloth will provide an even better and more effective drying result.

Fun fact: Not all microfiber clothes are the same! Different areas of your car require specific types of microfiber clothes for an optimal clean,

“Microfiber towels come in various sizes, pile height, or density, referred to as GSM, or grams per square meter. Window towels are typically in the range of 200 to 250 GSM while paint and interior should not exceed 350 to 400 GSM. Every detailer should have at least three types of towels in various colors to designate specific usage. For example, red 350 GSM towels are only used for the paint, while green is only used for interior plastics, blue for the door jams, and so on” (Autoblog).

5. Now that you’ve professionally cleaned your car at home, adding a thin layer of paint protector will help extend the life of your paint from contaminants and UV rays.

A good time to apply would be before Winter to protect against the salt and in the Spring to fight against the mud, dirt and smaller debris.

Spot Cleaning Tips

 

1. You may think parking near a tree is great for shade and protection, but they can sometimes leave unwanted gifts on your car that will eat away and damage the paint. Luckily, there are specially designed cleaners out there to make removing sap spots easy.

2. Floor mats are designed to keep your car floor clean, but when the mats themselves get dirty, how do you get them looking like new? Aside from shaking them out to remove the larger debris, dirt and salt can easily stain the plastic that no amount of scrubbing and soap can clean out. What’s left to do? Using a Rim and Tire cleaner will make the stains disappear and bring back the ‘just installed’ look and feel of your floor mats.

Why you need winter tires when you’re driving to Florida

Driving on winter tires is the practical route to arrive at your destination safely.

By | Repair Tips

Should you drive to Florida with winter tires, then drive around in warm weather on softer rubber, or drive south with all-season tires to suit the warmer climate?

Winter tires are the way to go. No matter how new and innovative your car model is, none of those modern electronics can create traction. They can only maximize whatever traction you have, and all traction is done by the tires. When it comes to those four small patches of rubber holding the car on the road safely, you should make sure you’ve got winter tires on your car when it’s still cold and snowy at your departing location.

The softer rubber and specially-designed treads on winter tires give them better grip and performance on slippery surfaces, and better traction to maneuver and brake at shorter distances. You don’t want to drive over ice without them, trust us.

Tip: Major tire manufacturers recommend that you switch to winter tires once your local temperature is consistently at or less than 7 degrees Celsius or 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why winter tires can still work in the heat (but all-seasons don’t in the cold)

Today’s winter tires are designed to stay flexible when the temperature drops below the freezing mark, but they are also more resistant to wear at higher temperatures than the old “snow” tire of days past. Tires wear very little on the open road – the turnpikes you’ll use heading south. Other than aggressive driving in corners at higher speeds, most tire wear occurs when turning at slow speeds in suburban areas and during parking manoeuvres and when drivers use the power steering to turn the wheels when the tire is standing still, literally scrubbing off rubber.

Most consumers have been oversold about how quickly winter tires will wear when run on hot pavement. Yes, winter tires do wear faster in the heat than all-season tires, but they do not melt off the car. You can help the treads last longer by showing the tire some respect and don’t let them run too hot by braking or accelerating quickly. Extra heat is also caused by under-inflation, so be sure to check your tire pressure regularly.

Are winter tires necessary for an extended stay in Florida?

You’re still making the trip down in wintery conditions. It would be rare for a driver to make it all the way down the interstate to Florida without some form of cold precipitation, whether it be freezing rain or snow. It’s not worth risking the safety of yourself and those along for the ride. Winter tires are a must for the trip down and back.

So, can you drive on winter tires year round? It’s an idea that occurs to many drivers who experience winter weather: “If I have to mount snow tires every year, why don’t I just keep them on my vehicle all the time?” In Quebec where snow tires are mandatory in winter, some people leave them on their car year-round because it’s not required to remove them. If those people knew how to change their own tires, they could easily switch back to all-seasons and wouldn’t have to replace those winter tires as often!

Why not use winter tires all the time?

The softer tread of a winter tire will wear out faster in warmer temperatures. If you keep winter tires on your vehicle after winter has come and gone, you will have to replace them sooner than if you removed them for springtime. However, driving on winter tires in Florida for a number of weeks is still fine when you’re there for shorter period of time than an entire summer. We don’t advise using winter tires year-round. The specialized compounds and tread designs of winter tires are not designed to perform in warm climates.

If it’s the hassle of tire changing that you’re dreading, we have a suggestion for simplifying that process: change them yourself. With the right tools and know-how, it’s absolutely safe to change passenger vehicle tires on your own. Learn how to change a tire with our step-by-step illustrated guide.

Keep your loved ones safe on your journey

You may not think of tires as a safety feature, but they’re one of the most important aspects of driving that help you stay out of harm’s way – even more than experience behind the wheel. If you care about the safety of yourself, your family, and other people on the road, you should make sure you’ve got the right tires on your car. So go ahead and equip your car with a good set of winter tires – store your all-seasons at home and enjoy your vacation.

Q&A: Is it safe to change my own tires?

Changing tires doesn’t have to mean a trip to the garage. It's easier than you think.

By | Repair Tips

Changing your own tires is a job you can handle yourself if you already have rims attached to your tires. Anyone can do it, it just takes knowledge, practice and confidence to build the skill.

You can join the many people who have embraced the freedom of not paying mechanics to do the job – and all the booking, travel time to the garage, waiting around, delays, and headaches that go along with it.

Plus, if you’re comfortable changing a flat tire, you’ve got the skills to do the seasonal changeovers yourself (and we believe every driver should be comfortable changing a tire.) It really comes down to jacking up the car and changing the tires on your own, just like if you had a flat and were putting the spare on.

Now if that seems like a daunting task, we’re here to make it doable. This Q&A will help put your doubts to rest.

Doesn’t the job require a professional?

Knowing how to change your own tires doesn’t mean you can avoid getting your car serviced regularly. That being said, doing the tire change yourself will save you from paying the mechanics to do that particular job when you do need to visit the auto shop. You’ll only need them to take care of the jobs that are best left to a professional, like balancing and aligning your wheels. If you buy brand new tires then it would be best to get an alignment. Or if you notice your current tires wearing unevenly, it could be due to poor alignment.

But is it safe to do the actual tire change?

With the right tools, it’s absolutely safe to change passenger vehicle tires on your own. The job really isn’t that tough or inherently dangerous. But it does involve getting your car up in the air. And that’s where a little forethought goes a long way.

Can the jacked car fall on top of you?

When your car is jacked, you should never go under the vehicle – it isn’t necessary to do when you’re changing tires. You can jack your car safely if you follow the instructions for jack placement in your vehicle owner’s manual. Many vehicle frames have molded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack. If you have a jack stand, place it under a secure point of the vehicle frame before you remove the wheel.

Your jack will also work correctly if you choose the appropriate place to do your tire change – on pavement. That means concrete, not softer asphalt. A jack stand can actually sink into thin asphalt, especially on a hot day when it gets softer.

Is it safe to drive afterwards? Will the wheels be tight enough?

Don’t worry, a wheel can’t just fall off spontaneously! If it really is loose, you will hear loud knocking sounds while driving before anything more serious happens. You’ll have time to pull over immediately to check the wheel nuts and re-tighten them, and see if that solves the problem.

Tip: Ensure that the wheel bolts are always tightened in a criss-cross pattern (our guide will show you how)

Whether you change your own tires or not, knowing how to tighten your wheels is an important skill to have. Even if you had your tires changed at a garage, the wheel bolts will still loosen over time, meaning the wheel is no longer as tight as it should be. You can prevent this by tightening the wheel nuts using a torque wrench whenever necessary. We advise checking the torque specifications in your car’s owner’s manual when tightening to make sure the nuts are tight enough.

Why go to the trouble having winter tires mounted on rims?

Winter tires should be mounted on a dedicated set of wheels, whether its relatively inexpensive steel or fancy alloy rims. Many shops will charge $60 more to change unmounted tires versus swapping tires on wheels, so it only takes a couple of seasonal changes to effectively pay for the rims, and it pays even quicker if you change your tires yourself.

Besides the cost of mounting/dismounting your tires twice per year, and making it possible to change over your tires yourself, having winter tires on rims actually helps them last longer because each on/off cycle risks damaging the tires or even the rims themselves.

“Having tires mounted and demounted semi-annually is quite a strain on the tire itself,” explained automotive professor David Weatherhead to the Globe and Mail. “Especially with lower-profile tires, it stresses the rubber around the bead of the tire and can lead to damaging the rubber, which in turn can lead to tire degradation and, therefore, leaks.”

Ready to take the wheel?

Once you get past the fear and actually do it, all the questions will evaporate. Changing tires is easier than assembling Swedish bookshelves – just follow the steps. Try it once and you can do it for life!

It’s a mystery at first, but not unsolvable. The right tools make all the difference. Find out more from our Tools You Need guide.