closeup image of a car's tire

Step-By-Step Guide to Changing a Flat Tire

How to Change a Flat Tire

Knowing how to change a flat tire is a key skill to have in case of emergencies. Once you’ve learned the steps, the process is pretty simple. This guide from Auto Simple will give you step-by-step instructions to help you learn how to change a flat tire and help get you back on the road.

Read more: How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My Brakes?

Steps to Fix a Flat

a technician fixing the tire of a car

  1. Stop and turn on your hazard lights and engage your parking brake.
  2. If a front tire is flat, place wheel wedges or large rocks behind the rear wheels of your vehicle. If it is a rear tire that is flat, place wheel wedges or large rocks in front of the front tires.
  3. If there is a hubcap covering the lug nuts on your wheel, remove the hubcap using the flat end of your wrench.
  4. Loosen the lug nuts about half of a full turn using the wrench by turning the nuts counterclockwise. You may need to use your foot or body weight to break the resistance of the lug nuts. Do not completely remove the lug nuts yet.
  5. Place the jack beneath the frame of your vehicle next to the flat tire. Check your owner’s manual for proper jack placement as there may be designated areas under your vehicle for the jack.
  6. Raise the vehicle about six inches above the ground and be sure to keep your body away from going under the vehicle.
  7. Unscrew and remove the lug nuts using the wrench.
  8. Pull the flat tire towards you until it is off the vehicle.
  9. Place the spare tire on the now-exposed lug bolts.
  10. Place the lug nuts back on the lug bolts and tighten them by hand.
  11. Once they are tightened as much as you can by hand, use the wrench to tighten them until they are firm. Slowly lower the jack until the vehicle is on the ground.
  12. Remove the jack and finish tightening the lug nuts with the wrench, starting with the lower left lug nut and following a star pattern.

Read more: When Should I Have Regular Maintenance Done On My Car? 

Use this step-by-step guide from Auto Simple to learn how to change a tire so the next time you get stuck with a flat you’ll know just what to do. For more car maintenance tips and tricks check out the rest of the Auto Simple blog or head over to our online inventory if you are in the market for your next vehicle.