How to Change a Tire

Since having a flat tire is a common occurrence, it would be great if you could change your own tire without asking for help. Changing a tire is a simple task, provided that you are willing to exert an extra effort and are prepared for it.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to change your tire and get back on track in no time.

Find a safe spot to pullover.

If you are on the road, try to park as far onto the shoulder as possible. Avoid parking in the middle of the curve, where it would be difficult to see approaching cars.  Also, don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights as a safety precaution.

Gather the materials

Get the wrench (tire iron), jack and the spare tire from the trunk and bring it over to the flat tire. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts.

Break the lug nits loose

Before lifting the vehicle, “break the lug nuts loose”. The weight of the vehicle will keep the tire from spinning. Now is the time to loosen the lug nuts approximately 1 turn.

On most vehicles, you will loosen the lug nuts by turning them counter-clockwise. On older vehicles, and heavy duty trucks, you may encounter Left Hand Thread lug nuts. These are removed by running them the opposite way (clockwise) and will be clearly marked by a “L” on the Lug Stud.

Use the jack to lift the vehicle

Jack up the car until the tire is about 6 inches off the ground.

Remove the lug nuts and the tire

Place the lug nuts in a secure place so it won’t get lost. Pull out the tire and remove it from the wheel base.

Place the spare tire and the lug nuts

Push the spare tire into the wheel base until it can’t go any farther. Then, put on the lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts as much as possible, using a criss cross pattern. The tire may spin, and that is OK. Just tighten the lug nuts as much as possible as this point.

Wheel Lug torque pattern

Lower the car using the jack

Use the jack to lower the car down. Remove the jack from underneath your car.

Tighten the lug nuts

With the car back on the ground, now is the time to fully tighten the lug nuts. Make sure that each lug nut is as tight as it can be. Use the same criss cross pattern as above.

Put your tools and the flat tire back in the trunk

Now that you’re done, return all your equipments and make sure that you don’t leave anything on the road.