Knowing how to change a flat tire is an important skill for all drivers. While hopefully, you’ll never be in the situation of having to do it on your own (that’s what roadside tire service is for, after all), it’s still smart to know the ins and outs of changing a flat tire — just in case you find yourself in a real bind.
Here’s what you need to know to do it right.
Necessary tools for changing a flat
Always have these items in your car when you hit the road:
- Spare tire
- Lug wrench
Depending on the make and model of your car, you may need additional tools as well, including wheel locks or alignment studs. Next time you take your car in to be serviced ask if you need anything special to change the tires on your car.
Step-by-step guide to changing a tire
The steps you’ll need to take if you ever find yourself with a flat.
Step one: Pull over somewhere safe
Don’t just stop right where you are if you notice you have a flat tire. For your own safety and the safety of other drivers on the road, you’ll need to pull over somewhere out of the line of traffic—preferably a parking lot, though the shoulder of the road will work too if you have no other choice. If you are pulling over onto the shoulder, position your car as far from the road as you can and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of your presence. If you have flares in your car that you can use, even better.
Step two: Get your tools together
Locate your spare tire, lug wrench, and car jack, which are almost always stored in your car’s trunk. Note that tires are quite heavy, so when you lift the spare out of the trunk you’ll want to bend at your knees — not your waist — to shift the weight onto your legs and off of your back. Place the spare on the ground near the flat.
Step three: Remove the hubcap
Use the lug wrench to remove the hubcap from the flat tire. Then loosen the lug nuts on the tire, but do not remove them completely.
Step four: Jack up the car
Look in your owner’s manual for directions on where and how to position the jack. Turn the jack’s handle clockwise until the jack meets the car, and then continue turning clockwise until the car is lifted several inches off of the ground. Now you can remove the lug nuts on the busted wheel.
Step five: Swap the spare in
Remove the flat and put the spare in its place. Secure it with the lug nuts that you removed from the flat, tightening them first with your hands and then with the lug wrench. Then take your tools, the flat tire, the hub cap, and the lug nuts from the hubcap and put them in your trunk. Ideally, drive right from here to a car service station and have the spare replaced with a new wheel.
Does roadside assistance change tires?
You bet! Here at Best Roadside Service, we offer roadside tire service for both individuals and commercial vehicles, including fleets. Contact us today to learn more.