Every driver should know how to deal with a flat tire to avoid surprises when out on a drive. Changing a tire can seem like black magic for someone who has never changed one but it is actually quite simple. As long as you have the right tools, of course. If all goes well, you should be back on the road in less than 30 minutes.
In this short guide, we will explain how to change a flat tire step by step and introduce all the necessary equipment you will need.
Find the right spot
You can’t just change your tire anywhere. You need to make sure you’re not a danger to other drivers. A level surface away from the main road would be perfect. If you need to do it along the road, make sure that you can park your car far enough from the traffic lane and that you aren’t parked near any bends or curves so that oncoming drivers have plenty of time to notice you.
Prepare your car
Before doing anything else, make sure to turn off the engine, apply the handbrake, turn on hazard lights and get your passengers out of the car. Put wheel wedges (or a brick/large stone) under the wheels on the opposite side of the tire you want to change. So if your flat tire is in the back, put the wedges underneath the front tires. This will prevent your car from rolling while you work. Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench to make it easier to remove the tire later.
Raise your car
For this step, you will need to use a jack. You should always have one in your car. If you haven’t purchased one yet find out what the best floor jack for your car is. Each car has specific spots under which you should put your jack. If you don’t know where they are, refer to the car’s manual. You should choose the one nearest to the flat tire. Then, raise your car until the tire is about six inches off the ground.
Remove the flat tire
Unscrew the lug nuts all the way and take down the defunct tire.
Place the spare tire
Now you can mount the spare tire. Mount it onto the car’s frame until lug bolts show through. Tighten the lug nuts as much as you can by hand.
Lower the vehicle
Slowly lower your vehicle until the spare tire touches the ground but don’t lower it all the way just yet. Now you can tighten the lug nuts with a wrench and only then lower it completely. Put the hubcap back on.
Check the pressure
Spare tires, especially ones that were stored in your trunk for a long time, can sometimes not be inflated enough to drive safely. You will need to either drive to the nearest car service station or inflate it by yourself with a tire inflator. We recommend to purchase one and keep it in your car for emergencies. You can check out portable tire inflators suggested by BeYourCar.com.