If you hate the thought of having to change a flat tire, I’m right there with you.
Changing a flat is no fun, and if done incorrectly it can even be dangerous, for both you and your vehicle.
But the above being said, if you drive a vehicle you really need to know how to safely perform this basic task.
Of course if you have roadside assistance available to you, by all means use it!
But what if you have a flat in a location where there’s no cellular service? Or what if you’re unable to contact someone who can come to your aid?
You could always simply wait in your car for some generous stranger to come along and help you, but in today’s world that can be dangerous as well.
The truth is every driver needs to know how to change a flat tire in an emergency situation.
Luckily, it isn’t really all that difficult. And if done correctly, it’s relatively safe as well.
Your vehicle’s owners manual will have step-by-step instructions for changing a flat. I recommend that you read them and become familiar with the general procedure now rather than waiting until you actually have to do it!
And after you’ve read the instructions in your manual, watching a YouTube video showing exactly how it’s done can help reinforce what you just read.
If you can’t find a video showing how to change a tire on your specific make and model of vehicle, the excellent video I posted below does a great job at demonstrating the general procedure.
I also recommend that you actually practice changing a tire on your vehicle so you’ll know exactly what to do if you ever need to change one for real.
Note: It would probably be a good idea to have an experienced “helper” with you while you practice to make sure everything is done correctly and in the safest manner possible. Just sayin’.
Important: Jacking a vehicle off the ground and
changing a flat tire always involves a certain amount
of inherent risk, regardless of how carefully you
follow the instructions in your vehicle’s owners
Therefore, if you choose to do this you’ll be doing it
at your own risk. Please keep that in mind.
If you agree to what I said in the previous paragraph, here are general instructions for changing a flat tire:
1 – Pull the vehicle safely off the side of the road in a level location.
2 – Turn off the engine and place the gear shift in “Park”.
3 – Set the parking brake.
4 – Open the trunk and remove the jack, the lug wrench, the spare tire and the chock blocks (if your vehicle is equipped with them).
5 – If you have chock blocks available, chock either the front or rear wheels.
If the flat is on the front, check the rear wheels. If it’s on the back, chock the front wheels. (The video below explains the proper chocking technique).
6 – Slightly loosen the lug nuts on the wheel that needs to be changed, but just barely. (Turn them to the left to loosen them.)
7 – Position the jack as explained in your vehicle’s owners manual and jack the vehicle up until the wheel that needs to be changed is barely off the ground.
8 – Use the lug wrench to finish removing all the lug nuts, then remove the wheel from the vehicle.
9 – Align the holes in the wheel with the studs and place the spare tire on the vehicle.
10 – Hand-tighten all the lug nuts, then lower the jack until the spare tire is barely touching the ground.
11 – Finish tightening the lug nuts with the lug wrench.
12 – Lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the jack.
13 – Place the flat tire and all the tools you used to change it back into the trunk.
14 – Take the flat tire to a repair shop to have it repaired or replaced.
If you’re the kind of person (like me) who learns better by watching instead of reading, here’s a fantastic short video that shows how to change a tire on a car.
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen
by clicking the “square” icon in the lower right-hand
corner of the video.
That’s why it’s important to read your vehicle’s owners manual and follow those specific instructions to the letter while using the video above as a general guide.
That’s all there is to it. Now that you know how to change a flat tire on your vehicle you won’t have to worry about being left stranded if you ever have a flat in a location where you can’t call for help!