Flat tires are stressful. There may be times when you’re completely out of service or have a dead phone. Learning how to change your own car tire is easy. You can get back on the road within 30 minutes following the simple steps below.
Gloves, a rain poncho, a flashlight and wheel wedges are some other tools that may be handy but are not necessary.
Safety comes first. Braking suddenly or making any abrupt turns can cause an accident. Reduce your speed and pull over. A straight and wide stretch of road is best. Also, be mindful of finding level ground. Your vehicle can roll while you attempt to change the tire on uneven ground.
Turn on your hazard lights as soon as you realize you have a flat tire. This is extremely important because it will be the first signal that will let other drivers know to slow down.
Apply the parking brake to prevent your vehicle from rolling once you are safely pulled over.
Place wheel wedges them in front or behind the tires if you have them. This keeps your vehicle from rolling. You can use bricks as a replacement.
Use the lug wrench’s flat end to remove the hubcap on the tire. Then, using the same tool, loosen the lug nuts counterclockwise about ¼ to ½ of a turn. Be careful not to remove them completely just yet.
Refer to the vehicle’s owner manual to place the jack safely while avoiding damage. Usually, you need to place the jack beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tire that’s flat.
Raise the vehicle until the flat tire stands about 6-8 inches above the ground. Do not go under any part of the vehicle when your vehicle is raised.
You should be able to unscrew the already loosened lug nuts by hand at this point. Put them aside because you will need them in the next couple of steps.
Grip the tire and pull it off slowly. Place the tire on its side.
Line up the rim of the spare tire with the lug bolts. Then, push it slowly until the lug bolts are shown through the rim.
Tighten the lug nuts on the spare as best you can.
Lower your vehicle using the jack. Rest the spare tire on the ground. The full weight of the vehicle can’t be on one tire. Then, tighten up the lug nuts with your wrench. Lower your vehicle down to the ground. Lastly, remove the jack. To be safe, give the lug nuts one last tighten.
Place the hubcap on your spare. The spare tire may be smaller than the one you originally took off, so if it doesn’t fit, leave it off.
Check the pressure in the spare tire. Don’t forget any of your tools!
Get back on the road and drive slowly. Spare tires are “temporary”. They are not meant to go your normal speed. Visit an auto repair shop as soon as possible.