Flat tires can happen anytime and anywhere and every driver should know how to change a flat tire. If you know this skill, you can save loads of time and money instead of relying on roadside assistance. Here we have shared a step-by-step guide on how to change a flat tire.
What You’ll Need
- Spare tire
- Lug wrench
- Wheel wedges
- Car owner’s manual
Park Your Car in a Safe Spot
If you face a flat tire situation on the highway, you need to get the car to a safe spot. Avoid parking the car in dirt or grass as the jack might sink and become unstable. Also, avoid parking the car on the slope as it increases the risk of the car falling off the jack. The car should be parked on a flat and steady surface before you move to the next step.
Secure Your Vehicle
Turn off the engine, put the transmission in “Park” and engage the parking brake. Take the wheel wedges and use them to block the wheel at the opposite side of the side that is to be raised. If the front wheel has a flat tire, the wedges should be used to block the rear wheel.
Remove the Hubcap Before You Loosen the Lug Nuts
The hubcap covers the lug nuts. You need to remove the hubcap to get to the lug nuts. Take the wrench and place it on the lug nut. Turn the wrench in an anti-clockwise direction to loosen the lug nuts. Use force if needed. Don’t remove the lug nuts off the lug bolts.
Lift up Your Vehicle
Open the car manual and find the right jack slots. Modern cars have jack slots for the front and rear wheels. For the front wheel, the jack slot is behind the wheel and for the rear wheel it is in front of the wheel. Position your jack under the car and pump/crank the jack to lift the car. The flat tire should be raised at least 6-inches off the ground.
Remove the Flat Tire
After the car is jacked up, remove the lug nuts by hand and set them aside. Remove the flat tire.
Mount the Spare Tire
Roll the spare tire to the wheel. Lift the tire and align the mounting holes with the lug bolts. Push the tire inwards so that lug bolts protrude outside the mounting holes. Put the lug nuts back on and tighten them by hand.
Lower the Vehicle
Use the jack to lower the vehicle and ensure the newly fitted tire is touching the ground completely. Take the lug wrench and finish tightening the lug nuts, turning the wrench clockwise. Tighten all the lug nuts and then remove the jack and stow all the equipment in the car.
This step-by-step guide above walks you through important steps of changing a flat tire. It’s an important skill to have!