What to do with a flat tire? You’re driving along, and suddenly there’s a pothole, a piece of glass, or some other road debris that causes you to have a flat tire. Once this happens, you’ll want to pull over somewhere safe as soon as possible so that you can change your tire.
Now that we’ve established the basics, what next? Do you know how to change a tire? Maybe you were thinking about changing it yourself but then started wondering if there’s some kind of secret procedure or something fancy like that. Well don’t worry–changing a flat tire isn’t rocket science! In fact, it’s pretty simple once you know what to do. Here are the steps:
Pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. Drive slowly to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and get out of the car
Pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. Drive slowly to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and get out of the car. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition or in any other place where they could be stolen.
Get your tools together. Once you’ve gotten out of the car, gather everything you’ll need. This is the time to locate your spare tire too
Once you’ve gotten out of the car, gather everything you’ll need. This is the time to locate your spare tire too. Make sure it’s not flat and that it’s in good shape. If it isn’t, have a new one on hand so that you can jump from flat to full in no time at all!
The first thing to do is get out of the car and make sure it’s safe for you to work on changing your tire. Make sure there’s nothing obstructing your path or anything else that could cause an accident while working under a car (which isn’t an easy thing for most people!). Next, find the jack, which is usually stored in some sort of compartment near the spare tire or inside of another compartment altogether (sometimes both).
Loosen your lug nuts before jacking up the car. To do this, put the wrench over a lug nut, then push down with one foot and pull up with both hands until it loosens
The first step is to loosen your lug nuts. This will be easier if you use a lug wrench, but if you don’t have one handy, then use whatever tool you can find. You’ll want to use enough pressure so that the nut turns with some resistance but not so much that it’s difficult to turn with just one hand. It’s best to do this in a crisscross pattern so that all of the wheels are loosened at once and it doesn’t take too long:
- Start by loosening all five nuts on one wheel
- Then move on to another wheel (or even back again if necessary) until all five have been removed
Jack up the car from behind the wheel. You’ll want to put your jack underneath a metal portion of the car (earlier models usually have a hole for this purpose). Then start cranking it upward until the wheel is around 6 inches off the ground (enough room to get under there)
The first thing you need to do is raise the car so that you can get under it. You can use a jack that’s built into your car or one that comes with the spare tire kit—just make sure it has a base and handle for easy maneuvering. Be sure not to put any part of your body directly underneath where you’re raising the car, as there’s always the potential for something heavy falling on top of you!
Replace your flat with your spare tire and tighten the lug nuts back on in a crisscross pattern
Once you’ve chosen the right size tire, it’s time to replace your flat with your spare tire and tighten the lug nuts back on in a crisscross pattern.
If you don’t have a spare tire, you should probably get one from an auto parts store. Your spare tire should be inflated to the same pressure as your other tires, so if you have any questions about what that is or how to check it, look at our previous article on checking tire pressure for help.
The difference between this step and putting on a new tire is that instead of tightening each bolt individually, you’ll be tightening them in pairs—one from each side of each wheel—and then doing one more pass around all four wheels. This will help ensure they’re even on both sides (and not leaning inward or outward).
Lower your car back onto all four tires and hand-tighten each lug nut again, using a crisscross pattern when tightening all 5 wheels
Once your tire is back in place, lower the car back onto all four tires and hand-tighten each lug nut again, using a crisscross pattern when tightening all 5 wheels. Make sure you’re on level ground while doing this step. If you don’t have tools to inflate your spare tire, use an app like AAA or CAA’s TripTik Mobile to find a nearby gas station with air pumps or drive to an auto service center for help.
Get your tools back in your trunk and drive to wherever will fix/replace your flat tire!
With your tools in hand, you can now drive to the mechanic and get your flat tire fixed. Be sure to drive safely!
There’s a procedure for changing a tire, but once you learn it, it’s easy (and gives you an excuse to buy fancy tools)
When you have a flat tire, there are many things to worry about. However, if you’re willing to learn how to change the tire on your own car, then changing it isn’t as big of an issue. You can save money by doing this instead of paying someone else or taking your car into the shop.
The procedure for changing a flat tire is simple and straightforward; however, it’s not something that most people know how to do without having learned before. Fortunately for those who don’t know how, there are plenty of instructions available online and in books that will teach anyone interested in learning how easy it is!
Changing a tire is one of the easier things to do with your car, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, the situation can be stressful and dangerous. First, make sure you have all the tools you need before heading out on the road. Second, put safety first (pull over in a safe place and use wheel chocks.) Lastly, don’t forget to tighten your lug nuts in a crisscross pattern so that everything stays balanced!