Knowing how to safely change a tire should be a skill that every driver should learn. You never know when you’re going to be stuck on the side of the road! Knowing how to properly change a tire can save you a lot of time, hassle and money.
Of course, not all surfaces or roadsides are great for changing a tire, so be sure you always have the phone number for a trusted tow truck or roadside assistance available too, but you never know when the ability to change a tire by yourself will come in handy. Share these step-by-step instructions on how to change a tire on your Facebook page, PIN them to your Pinterest board, or print them out and keep them in your vehicle’s glove box so you always have them handy!
Step-By-Step Instructions for Changing a Tire
1. Find a safe and level place to stop. Make sure you are far enough off the road to be able to safely change a tire. Put your car in park and make sure you use the emergency brake as well. Refer to your vehicle’s manual to locate the spare tire and necessary tools within your car.
2. Chock a wheel. Wheel chocks are wedges of sturdy material that are placed closely to the tire to keep it from accidentally moving. You can use something large, like a rock, tree limb, or anything more than a few inches high. Place it against the tire diagonally opposite from your flat to brace your car and keep it from rolling.
3. Loosen the lug nuts. Place the lug wrench on any lug nut with the handle facing left. Push down on the wrench as hard as you can. Only loosen each of them one turn – do not remove any of them yet completely!
4. Jack up your car. Use your owner’s manual to find the correct location to place the jack. Expand the jack by hand until it’s as tall as it can be and still fit under the car. Insert the jack handle according to the manual’s instructions.
5. Start cranking. Lift your automobile high enough that the flat tire can be replaced with a fully inflated spare. Keep everyone else away from the car while it’s on the jack.
6. Remove the damaged tire. Remove the loosened lug nuts, and take the wheel off. Put the wheel off to the side, not in the car while it’s jacked up. You don’t want to risk the car falling off the jack.
7. Put on the spare tire. Line the lugs up with the holes in the wheel and gently slide the replacement tire on. Screw on the lug nuts by hand, tightening them as much as you can, do not use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts yet. Then lower the car off the jack until it’s firmly on the ground.
8. Tighten the lug nuts. Now that your vehicle is safely on the ground, use the wrench to tighten the lug nuts by placing it on any nut with the handle facing to the right. Repeat on the other lug nuts, using the full force of your weight on each one to tighten securely.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll want to double check that the lug nuts are tight, and consult your owner’s manual for important details regarding the maximum speed and travel distance for driving on a spare tire. If at any point during this process you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab the nearest cell phone and call for help. Feel free to consult NARPRO.com to find a trusted auto repair shop in Phoenix that is in your area, or give us a call at (888) 627-7761 and we’ll be happy to help!