A flat tire that needs to be changed

How to Change a Flat Tire

Flat tires always seem to happen at the worst times, but the process of changing one is fortunately easy enough a job for nearly anyone to finish. Provided you have the tools, which usually come with the car, replacing a flat is a simple task that will only take a few minutes.

What you'll need:

  • Jack
  • Lug Wrench
  • Tire
  • Owner’s Manual
  1. Secure the Vehicle

    While changing your flat, you will need to make sure your car doesn’t roll around. Find a level, solid surface safely out of traffic to park your vehicle in and apply the parking brake.

  2. Remove the Hubcap

    Most wheels will have a thin metal plate covering the nuts you need to remove. It can easily be removed by hand or with a thin, solid object like a screwdriver or a pocket knife.

  3. Loosen the Nuts

    With your wrench, you’ll want to loosen the nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Don’t remove them outright just yet, only enough so that you can twist them off by hand later. These may require a bit of force to break loose, which is why you’ll want to do so before the tire is in the air and free to spin.

  4. Place Jack under Vehicle

    If you have your owner’s manual, it will tell you exactly where you want to put your jack. This will be under the metal part of the car’s frame near the flat tire. Turn the crank of the jack until it’s touching the correct spot and confirm that it’s still firmly in place.

  5. Raise the Wheel

    There’s no need to lift the car too high, so simply raise the jack until you have a few inches of space between the bottom of the tire and the ground.

  6. Remove the Flat

    Now you can finish removing the already loosened nuts, and the wheel can easily be pulled off afterwards.

  7. Put the Spare On

    With the old tire out of the way, line up the bolts with the holes in your spare wheel and slide it on. Replace the nuts you just removed and tighten them by hand until the resistance is firm.

  8. Lower the Vehicle and Tighten the Nuts

    Now that the new tire is on, all you have to do is work backwards from the previous steps. Lower and remove the jack, grab your wrench and re-tighten all of the nuts until you’re confident they’re not going anywhere. Snap your hubcap back in place, or if your spare was a smaller size than the original, keep it handy and drive to the nearest mechanic to get your flat repaired or replaced.

Last Updated: October 18, 2017