Posted by Zane Winberg on

You do not want to be caught on the side of a bustling freeway or in the middle of a scorching desert with a flat and no idea how to change it. Sure, you can pay for AAA to come do it, or call for roadside assistance from law enforcement or Highway Patrol. But isn’t that just a little embarrassing?

Hopefully you’ll never need to, but it’s always best to play it safe and learn how to change a tire. Especially your own tire!

How To Change A Tire

  1. Pull safely off the road, or to a clear spot. Minimize driving on the flat as it can damage your wheel.
  2. Turn on your hazards and alert someone. Even if you don’t need help it’s important to let someone know where you are and that you’ll be late.
  3. Remove all tools. You’ll need a tire iron, a jack, and a spare or new tire. If you’re missing any of these you’ll need AAA or another person to help. Inspect your spare to be sure it is properly inflated - at least to get you to the nearest tire store.v
  4. Loosen lug nuts. Using the tire iron, loosen and remove the lug nuts and be careful not to lose any.
  5. Jack Up the Car. Be sure to place the jack on level, hard ground, and place it in contact with your car’s frame - not the plastic siding or trim. Using the stick, pump the jack up until you have a couple of inches of clearance under the tire.
  6. Remove flat. You can inspect it at this time to see if it’s a small hole, big puncture, or other damage. Some places may repair the tire, or you may need to just replace it.
  7. Replace with Spare. Hoist the spare onto the axle, taking care to lift with your legs and not your back.
  8. Tighten lug nuts. Once your spare is on the axle, replace the lug nuts and tighten them with the tire iron.
  9. Load everything back in. Take care as you’re working to watch traffic and to keep your hazards on.
  10. Drive to the nearest tire store or auto shop. Have them patch or replace your tire - many places will do it for free or honor a warranty.
It’s not a bad idea to practice this process when you get a new car, or to teach at least one other member of your family how to change a tire just in case you ever find yourself with a flat or blown tire. It’s a lifelong skill with many benefits.

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