How to Change a Flat Tire, Step By Step

Got a flat? You could call for roadside assistance, or you could change a tire yourself with the help of these step-by-step instructions.

What you’ll need to change a flat tire:

  • Screwdriver
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Car jack
  • New/spare tire

Step-by-step instructions on how to change a tire:

  1. Before you begin, make sure your vehicle is in park, with the ignition off.
  2. Using the screwdriver (or the end of the lug nut wrench), remove the wheel cover on the flat tire.
  3. Using the lug nut wrench, loosen the lug nuts without removing them. (A single turn counter-clockwise should be enough.)
  4. Consult your driver’s manual to ensure the correct positioning of the car jack for tire removal. The jack should be sitting on a flat, stable surface.
  5. Using the car jack, slowly lift the car until the flat tire is between and three inches off the ground. (Safety note: You should never be underneath the car when it’s raised on a jack.)
  6. Using the lug nut wrench, completely remove the loose lug nuts.
  7. Remove the flat tire.
  8. Place the new/spare tire on the car. Replace the lug nuts, and tighten them by hand just enough to secure the tire.
  9. Release the car jack until the tread of the new tire just meets the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts until they’re secure, then fully lower the car jack.

Now that you know the step-by-step instructions on how to change a flat tire, find out how to make your tires last.