Car Trouble 101: How To Change A Flat Tire

·
·
Auto mechanic man with electric screwdriver changing tire outside. Car service. Hands replace tires on wheels. Tire installation concept.

Have you ever walked outside to get into your vehicle and realized you had a flat tire? That moment you see the flat tire you immediately think of inconvenience and another thing to stress about. While all of these thoughts are sinking in, you realize you don’t know how you’re going to take care of this in time to get things done. Or maybe you’re driving, and you notice something doesn’t feel right and sure enough when you go to check your car, you have a flat tire.

When it comes to a flat tire, you have a few choices. Check your trunk to see if you have a spare tire so you are able to change it yourself, slowly drive it to the nearest shop, or if you are unable to drive the vehicle, have it towed.

It’s safe to say we have all been in this position and there are a lot of people that don’t know what to do when this happens. If you want to save time and money use this step by step guide below on how to change a tire and get you running your errands and back on the road as soon as possible.

1. Get Your Car to A Safe Spot

That dreaded thumping sound takes over when you have a flat tire. What do you do first? Pull over. Whether it’s a highway or a side street in a neighborhood, make sure you’re getting yourself and your vehicle to a spot where you don’t put yourself at risk of getting hit.

If you experience a flat tire on the highway always put your flashers on. If you don’t feel safe, you can also call a non-emergency number and a police officer will come and sit behind you while you’re changing your tire or waiting for a tow truck if you don’t have a spare. The spare will always be under the floor mat in the back of your vehicle. If you drive a Jeep or an SUV there is a chance it could be mounted on the back of your car.

2. Find the Key Components: Spare Tire, Tire Iron, and Jack

Once you have found your spare tire, the jack, and tire iron, you are good to go. Before you begin to change the tire, make sure your car is in park. If you want to be extra careful you can also put your emergency brake on to ensure your car stays in place. You also want to check the pressure of the spare tire if you have an air pressure gauge handy.

Another thing to remember is to never change a tire on a hill or rocky road. It’s important to remember to park your car on a flat piece of pavement. Once you have gathered your key components, parked your car and activated your e-brake, you are ready to change your tire.

3. Loosen the Wheel Lugs

The tire iron is the first thing you’re going to use when changing your tire. The tire iron is the l-shaped tool that fits perfectly over each wheel lug. The wheel lugs look like big bolts that need to be unscrewed. Typically wheel lugs are very difficult to remove and screwed on tight. When taking the lugs off, it’s imperative you use extreme force to get these lugs off. You can loosen the lugs by turning them counterclockwise. When dealing with wheel lugs, you don’t want to fully take them off. Once you have loosened the lugs, place the jack under the car. If you aren’t sure where to place your jack underneath your specific type of car, grab the owner’s manual from the glove box.

4. Jack Up the Car

Once you have moved your jack underneath the jack point, start to raise the jack. Most of the car jack’s people are using today are called screw-type scissor jacks. With this jack you simply just turn the knob at the end of the jack and crank it. Continue to raise the jack until it contacts the car’s frame and expand the jack. Raise the car with the jack until your vehicle is completely raised off of the ground.

5. Remove the Flat Tire

Once you have raised your car off of the ground with the car jack, remove the lugs completely. It can be a toss-up with the lugs. Sometimes you can remove them with your hands or you may have to use a tool to get them loose. When the lugs are off, set them aside in a secure location. It’s important to remember this step in the process so you don’t lose any of the lugs. Next, remove the flat tire and set it aside.

6. Time to Install the Spare

Start by positioning the spare tire over the wheel studs. This next part can be a bit challenging. Hold up the tire and try to line up the holes in the wheel with the wheel studs. A simple trick that can help you hold up the tire and evenly align all of the studs is balance it on your foot and hold the tire up.

Once you have the tire hanging on the wheel studs it’s time to screw the wheel lugs back on. This time you will use your hands to screw the lugs on. Once you have the lugs screwed on tightly, take your tire iron and finish the job to ensure they’re on securely. You don’t necessarily need the lugs on tight, just snug.

7. Tighten the Lugs and Lower Your Car

Now that the spare tire is on, it’s time to lower your jack. When you’ve got the jack lowered its time for the final step which is to pull it away from your vehicle and tighten the lugs. That’s it! All you have to do now is place your flat tire in the back where your spare was before. Put the tire iron and jack back in its place as well. The spare tire is a lot smaller than the original tire placed on your vehicle. If you can’t fit the tire where you once had the spare, place it somewhere in your car and remove it when you can.

Will My Spare Last?

The spare tire is meant to be temporary. Once you have replaced your flat with your spare take it slow and make sure you arrange plans to get a new tire put on. It’s common to throw the spare on for convenience reasons and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that eventually getting a new tire should be on your list. Now that you know how to change a tire, you’re ready to go!

 

Get a free quote

Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

Enter your full name

What is your glass issue?

Enter a valid email

Where can we reach you?

Any additional information we should know about.

Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

Enter your full name

What is your glass issue?

Enter a valid email

Where can we reach you?

Any additional information we should know about.