How to Change a Flat Tire

Rocks, nails or a bad break up can cause you to change a flat tire. Learning how to change a flat tire can save you time and money by not having to call roadside assistance. In some situations, you may not even have the luxury of calling for roadside assistance or calling anyone at all. Changing a flat tire is easier than you think! We will walk you through on how to change a flat tire.

 

Slowly Find A Safe Spot to Pull Over

If you are driving and notice that you may have a flat tire, first put your hazard lights on and start looking for a flat level area with a wide shoulder to pull off too. An empty parking lot would be the best spot. Trying to change a tire on a narrow shoulder of a busy road is dangerous therefore we recommend slowly driving with your hazards on until you find a safe area. Make sure that once you park, you also use the emergency brake to prevent the car from rolling.

 

Grab the Tools Needed

Grab the vehicle’s user manual, spare tire, jack and tire iron from the vehicle. The spare tire and tools are typically found in the trunk of your vehicle. Some vehicles come with a hazard cone so oncoming traffic can see you. Take the hazard cone and place it ten feet away from the rear of your vehicle.

 

Not all vehicles come with a safety cone, it’s a good idea to add one just in case

Vehicle’s User Manual Is your Best Friend

Refer to the vehicle’s user manual for the locations intended for jacking the vehicle. Only certain parts of the frame of the vehicle are reinforced so it is important to find the proper locations to lift the car from. Now that you have found the proper location to lift your vehicle from, set up your jack and start lifting your vehicle! If you don’t know how to use your jack, don’t worry, your user manual should include instructions on how to use all the equipment that comes with your vehicle.

 

 

A screenshot from a Honda Civic Manual shows how to use the jack

Loosen Lug Nuts

Once the tire is barely touching the ground, grab the tire iron and mount it onto a lug nut. Start loosening each lug nut by pushing the tire iron to the left. Remember “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty”. By loosening the lug nuts in a star pattern instead of a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern, this will prevent uneven threading of the lug nuts and ensure that the weight of the wheel is being evenly distributed on each of the mounting points, making removal easier.

 

It does not matter what lug nut you start with, as long as you loosen/tighten in a star pattern

Remove Lug Nuts and the Wheel

Once all the lug nuts are loose, start to remove the lugs and set them aside. Now, remove the wheel.

 

Mount the Spare Tire and Insert the Lug Nuts

You can now take the spare tire and mount it. Put each lug nut in and tighten them by hand in a star pattern.

 

Lower Vehicle and Tighten Lug Nuts With the Tire Iron

Once all of the lug nuts have been hand tightened, lower the jack. When the vehicle is on the ground, tighten each lug nut in a star pattern with the tire iron. By tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern instead of a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern, this will prevent uneven threading of the lug nuts and ensure that the wheel sits flush against the mounting points.

 

Some spare tires have a max speed rating labeled right on the wheel! Remember a spare tire is a temporary fix

Put Everything Away

Put away all your tools and the wheel with the flat tire! With a spare tire mounted, make sure to drive slowly to your nearest tire shop to either get a new tire or get your punctured tire repaired.

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