How to Change a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire on a vehicle can be a challenge, particularly when you are on a busy highway or stranded on a desolate road. Cut down on the time and hassle you experience changing a tire by using the following 9 steps:

Step 1: Get Your Car To A Safe Place

Changing a tire may take upwards of twenty to thirty minutes. Before you begin trying to change your tire, you will want to make sure you are out of the way of traffic and in a safe location.

Step 2: Prepare Needed Tools

Spare tires are often located in the trunk. Many vehicles also include tire changing tools like lug wrenches and jacks. You will want to make sure you have access to these materials before you begin working on your car.

Step 3: Using the Jack Carefully

A jack is used to lift your vehicle so that you can remove and replace the tire. Consult your user manual for information about safe places on the frame of your car to place the jack.

Important: If you do not attach the jack properly, you can damage your car and the vehicle may fall and cause injury.

Do not lift the vehicle at this point, but try to make sure the jack is securely attached to the vehicle.

Step 4: Loosen Lug Nuts

Loosen lug nuts a few turns to help break the lugs free of the tire. Do not fully remove lug nuts at this point.

Step 5: Jack Up the Vehicle

Proceed to jack up the vehicle slowly while making sure that you are not under the vehicle. If the car begins to wobble or seems unstable, return the vehicle to the ground. You might have to reposition the jack and try again to get a good hold.

Step 6: Remove Flat Tire

When the space of the tire is an inch or so above the ground, completely remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the vehicle. If you experience complications removing the tire, check that you are using the jack properly and consider calling roadside assistance.

Step 7: Put on New Tire

Put the new tire on your vehicle, making sure to line it up properly. The tire should fit on the bolts easily. If you put the tire on backward you may run into safety issues. Again, consult your user manual for additional support.

Using the lug wrench, tighten the lug nuts.

Step 8: Lower the Vehicle

Once the tire is secure, lower the vehicle. Make sure you finish tightening the lug nuts with the lug wrench. After you have finished, put the flat tire and tools back in your trunk.

Step 9: Check Safety of Tire and Merge with Traffic

If possible, try to test out your tire by driving a short distance. If you can exit your vehicle safely, assess the tire after a quarter mile or less to determine if the tire is adequately attached and functioning properly. If you notice any concerns, you may have to make adjustments or call roadside assistance.

Remember, as much as possible, try to exercise caution while installing your new tire.