The Simple Guide To Changing Your Flat Tire


If you’ve decided to read this how-to guide that likely means you’re stuck on the side of the road somewhere having a generally awful day. You’ve turned to the internet for support and we’re here to help! We’re going to outline some easy step-by-step instructions to show you how to change a flat tire so you can get back on the road and carry on with your day. Everybody gets a flat tire at some point, whether you drive a new mercedes-benz or your Grandma’s old Ford Tempo, which makes it a useful skill to have in your tool belt so let’s get started.


What You’ll Need

Changing your flat tire might be easier than you think but there a few tools that you’re going to need to find and some optional items that can make the process a little smoother. The must-have gear you’ll have gather up are your jack, wrench, and spare tire. In most cars these items will be somewhere in the trunk, in trucks the jack will often be located under the rear-seat, and in vans you’ll start your search in the trunk area side-compartments. You should note that if the spare tire isn’t located in the trunk it’s likely stowed underneath the vehicle at the rear. For vans with stow n’ go the tire will probably be stowed underneath teh vehicle near the front. You can consult your owner’s manual to find out exactly where your jack and spare tire are located.  Some additional equipment you might also find useful include:

  • Flashlight
  • Gloves
  • Something to kneel on so you can keep your clothes clean
  • A raincoat or poncho can also be a lifesaver if it’s rainy

The Procedure

Follow these 10 steps to complete the job like a pro!

  1. Park safely out of the way. You’ve probably seen somebody on the side of the road nearly get hit by traffic when they get out of their vehicle – don’t be one of them! If you can’t make it to the closest turn-off or exit you’ll want to pull over as far onto the shoulder as you possibly can.
  1. Hazard lights. Be safe and fire up those hazard lights to increase your visibility and alert other drivers to watch out for you.
  1. Gather up your equipment. It’s time to wrangle up that jack, wrench, spare tire and anything thing else you’re going to require to perform this highly surgical operation
  1. Lefty-loosy lug nuts. Don’t remove them yet but get those lug nuts eased up while your tire is still firmly on the pavement. Rotate counter-clockwise to loosen the lugs
  1. Time to jack it up. We’d recommend referencing your manual again to find the best area on your vehicle to lift from. When you find the sweet spot start jacking up the car until it’s several inches off the ground.
  1. Lugs be gone. Once your tire is up in the air you can finish taking off the lug nuts you already loosened in step 4.
  1. Remove the tire. After the lugs are removed you can also pull the tire off the axle. They do get stuck sometimes and might need a couple hard kicks to loosen up.
  1. Bring on the spare. Replace your flat with the spare tire and put the lugs back on but don’t tighten them all the way yet.
  1. Back on solid ground. Time to lower the car back down and remove the jack. We suggesting tightening the lugs 50% in a diagonal pattern to keep it even for your safety. Once all of the lugs are on you can then tighten all the way using the same pattern to finish the process.
  1. Clean up. Load your flat tire and all your tools back into the car.

Final Recommendations

You did it, piece of cake right? Keep in mind that drivers with a donut ( not full-size )  spare will want to stay under the speed limit outlined in their manual for safer driving. We suggest navigating to the service repair shop at your local car dealership as soon as possible to get your flat tire patched up and make sure it’s installed properly. Now let’s just hope you don’t have to do this again anytime soon!

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