It’s best to be prepared during emergencies. And for motorists, having a flat tire is one of the more common occurrences.
Here’s a video from YouTube on how to change a flat tire. A step-by-step guide is also available below.
Changing a flat tire, step by step
- Park your car on level ground along the shoulder, or somewhere safe, and apply the hand brake. If it’s a manual transmission car, put it in gear (first gear is good). If automatic, put it in Park. Turn off the engine and activate the hazard lights. You can open your hood to help people see you’re fixing your car. If you have an early-warning device (EWD), place it at the rear and front of your car. This lessens the likelihood of people mistaking your car for a moving vehicle, and possibly hitting you.
- Place a wheel chock or a large rock behind (if facing uphill) or in front (if facing downhill) of the wheel with a flat tire to prevent the car from rolling. You can now get out the spare wheel, a lug nut wrench (tire iron) and the car jack.
- Remove the hubcap or wheel cap, if necessary. Some brand cars have a special tool for doing this. Before jacking up the car, loosen (but don’t remove) the lug nuts, by placing one end of the lug nut wrench over a lug nut. Use a hollow pipe as a lever by slipping it over the end of the lug nut wrench. Lug nuts are loosened with a counter-clockwise turning. Loosen the lug nuts in a star pattern–first loosen one a few turns, then loosen the one opposite. Do this until all the nuts are slightly loosened.
- Carefully jack up the car. Check your owner’s manual for the correct and safe place to put the jack. You can usually put the jack somewhere below the car’s underchassis (and not under the body, as you might dent it. Check your manual for correct jack usage. Pneumatic and screw-type jacks may have different instructions. Jack the car up until you have about four to six inches ground clearance, so you have room to put the new, full tire on.
- Remove the lug nuts all the way and set them aside at a safe place where they can’t roll away. The flat tire should be hanging from the studs now.
- Remove and set aside the flat tire. Set it underneath the car, just in case your jack fails.
- Lift the new tire onto the wheel studs. If you’re confused about which is the right way, check for the valve where you add air–it always faces out.
- Replace the lug nuts the same way you loosened them. Tighten them first, and then give each nut a few turns–first one, then the one opposite, working around the wheel in a star pattern. Try not to tighten adjacent nuts consecutively, as this might result in an unbalanced tightening.
- Slowly lower the jack and remove it.
- Tighten the lug nuts again as much as you can, again in a star pattern.
- Put the hubcap or wheel cap back on, if necessary.
After this, you can already stow your flat tire in the trunk. Be sure to have it checked at the nearest service station.