You would think how to change a tire would be something they teach you in Drivers Ed. You would think. Unfortunately it’s not, and that means that a lot of people can end up stuck on the side of the road not knowing what to do next.
Most of these individuals will call their roadside assistance or spouse/parent/friend to come help them change their tire. But what happens if you don’t have roadside assistance, or someone around that can help you change a tire? You usually have to call a tow truck from an auto repair shop, and they will either come change the tire for you, or tow you to an auto repair shop, and no one wants to pay for that. Or sit around waiting for roadside assistance or a tow truck.
A flat tire happens to the best of us.
Changing a tire is so simple as well, it seems crazy that anyone would spend precious time and money on this task. Forget calling an auto body repair shop for this.
Here’s how to change a tire in 10 steps according to the DMV website.
You’ll need a few things first:
How to change a tire instructions:
- Find a safe spot to pull over.
Take the next exit if you’re on a freeway, or find an area that will pull you off the side of the road completely. Try to avoid parking on a curve in the road at all costs; you want to be sure that you are visible to any traffic. Make sure you find a flat spot as well, as you will need it in order to properly use the jack. If you have a manual transmission leave your car in gear and set your parking brake.
- Turn on your hazard lights.
These lights will help let other drivers on the road know that you are stopped and that there is a problem.
- Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts.
Get your jack, wrench, and spare tire from your trunk and head over to the flat tire. You may need to remove the hubcap. Simply loosen the lug nuts at this point, don’t remove them. Turn the wrench left (counter-clockwise) to do this.
- Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground.
You’ll want to consult your owner’s manual before this step. Different cars have different areas to place the jack. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, a simple internet search should find this information for you. Once you place it in the correct spot, jack the car up about 6 inches off the ground.
- Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car.
Now it’s time to remove the lug nuts. Be sure to keep them in a pile so they won’t get scattered. To remove the tire, pull it straight from the wheelbase toward you.
- Place the spare on the car.
Grab your spare and line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare. Push your spare all the way onto the wheelbase until it cannot go any further.
- Put on the lug nuts.
Don’t put them on tightly just yet. Just screw them back into place enough to keep the spare on the vehicle.
- Lower the car back to the ground.
Use your jack to lower the vehicle back to the ground. And then remove the jack.
- Make sure the lug nuts are tightened.
Now you are able to tighten the lug nuts all the way on the vehicle. The best practice to do this is to tighten them about 50% of the way, one at a time. Move from one nut to the one that is opposite it. Then keep tightening them all in this manner until they are all as snug as they can be.
- Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk.
Most trunks have a cubby in them where the spare tire is stored. Place your tools and tire back in the trunk wherever is best for you. Double check you have not left anything on the side of the road. And you’re all set!
See, there’s no need for an auto repair shop to do this for you. =) We hope this article helped you learn how to change a tire.
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Written by: Nicole Weisbrich