How to Change Your Tire




Flat tires are one of life's most frustrating issues. They're even worse when you get one and you don't know how to change your tire (trust me I know). Yes, you could have roadside assistance come to save you but, who really wants to wait for someone on the side of a freeway for an hour? Yes you could drive to somewhere to wait but, by then your rim will be ruined and insurance won't cover that. Don't worry though I made these instructions so the same thing that happened to me won't happen to you. 

Step 1: Tools and Materials

1. Car Jack
2. Jack Stands
3. Spare/New Tire
4. Socket Wrench
5. Flat Surface

Step 2: Flat Surface

You need a flat surface to work on so when your car is raised up it doesn't roll.

Step 3: Loosen Lug Nuts

Loosen the lug nuts before you raise the car up otherwise your tire will just spin when jacked up off the ground. You may want to use your foot on the wrench so that you can put your full weight into loosening the lug nuts. NOTE: Make sure to loosen the lug nuts by going diagonally across and not clockwise or counterclockwise.

Step 4: Raise Your Car

Depending on the jack you have determines how you raise your car. The one in your trunk is a jack that is a weaker more difficult one to use or the jack I have which has a hand pump. To life you pump it up and down. Using your car jack raise up the damaged side of your car so you can remove the tire. You may refer to your owners manual to find a safe spot to raise your car other wise try to find a solid surface that can't be easily damaged. Make sure you place the jack stands on immediately afterwards. The reason for the stands is so you're not relying on the jack alone. Leave the jack and the stands both up so that the car doesn't fall and get damaged but more importantly doesn't hurt or kill you.

Step 5: Remove the Lug Nuts

Now with the socket wrench continue to remove the lug nuts that were already loosened. You may have a star piece in the trunk of your car for one of the lug nuts on your tire. The reason for this is so no one can steel your tires. You may be able to use your hand if they're loose enough.

Step 6: Changing the Tire

Take the flat tire off now and put on the new/spare tire. Make sure that the holes on the rims are put in perfect place so that the lug nuts can be screwed back into place.

Step 7: Place Lug Nuts On

Now hand screw the nuts as tight as you can while car is still suspended in the air. Don't forget to tighten by going diagonally across from one another.

Step 8: Lowering the Car

Remove the jack stands first and then lower the car with the jack slowly by twisting the handle to the left slowly and gently making sure that your car doesn't come crashing down.

Step 9: Tightening the Lug Nuts

Tighten the lug nuts with your socket wrench and make sure its secure. Don't forget to tighten diagonally across. You don't need to force it.

Make sure to stop at a gas station to make sure the new/spare tire has enough air in it, for it may have lost air in the last months being unused.



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    These instructions saved me! This morning I had to go pick up some paperwork, but I accidentally entered the parking lot the wrong way and ran over some of those tire spikes kind of like these, and it absolutely tore up my front two tires!! :(


    4 years ago



    5 years ago



    5 years ago on Introduction

    One suggestion, if you don't want to carry an entire socket wrench set with you, and all you have is the "L"-style tire iron, is to get an "X"-style, which has 4 different size lug sockets. and marking the right size one with a strip of tape wrapped around the bar. These have the best leverage for the most stubborn lug nuts. But, yes, there's always that chance of breaking a frozen lug stud even with the "L"-style. I always remember the teaching of my Driver Ed. Teacher, who was a retired State Police Officer, and stayed teaching 4 more years after I graduated, only to be retired, and the Driver-Ed Class being out-sourced to a local commercial outfit. (which, I have to say, needs to bone-up on their School-bus laws.. I had the privilege of writing up one of their cars, with a student driver, and the instructor, Driving past 10 parked, and loading (read Red Lights Displayed) at a local High school. (even with kids walking between the buses tot heir own cars in the parking lot!) Now-a-days, people, once they get their license, will call the auto-club, instead of change the tire themselves. (or even know how.) I've helped more than my fair share of people who never even knew where their own jack or spare tire was.) .. (funnest, was a girl heading to a job interview, 4X4 Jimmy, and the rear-tire flat to the ground. Showed her where the jack was, how to release the spare, had the tire replaced in under 20 minutes, plenty of time to still make her interview. And I still had 3 mile to walk back to my own car (other side of a mountain, Hiking.)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice 'ible - this is an essential procedure that many people on the road have never practiced.

    Following on from xaenon's comment below - most tires tend to get changed at the roadside in an emergency and in that situation you often don't have an axle-stand with you. A tip I was given in that situation is first - as xaenon says - never put any part of you under the vehicle.

    Then secondly: Before you jack the vehicle up, lay the spare wheel under the car so that if it does fall off the jack for any reason it lands on the wheel rather than flattening any part of you that might be breaking the first rule. Obviously you need to do that in a way that you can get the wheel out without breaking rule 1, but that's easily possible. Once the wheel is changed, the old wheel goes back under the vehicle until it's back down off the jack.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'd like to add a couple of thoughts. You should block at least one of the wheels before making any attempt to raise the vehicle. This should be done at all times, but especially if you're forced to work on a slope. DO NOT RELY ON THE TRANSMISSION TO HOLD THE VEHICLE! Many drive axles will actually allow the vehicle to roll if either drive wheel is raised off the pavement, even if the transmission is in park or in gear. Some manufacturers supply metal or plastic wheel chocks for this purpose; if you don't have any, you can buy them at Walmart or auto-parts stores - or, if you're cheap like me, you can make a couple of inexpensive wedges from a hunk of oak, or even just find a rock or brick or something on the side of the road. Although jack stands are highly recommended, most people don't carry them in their cars. If you must work without jack stands, DO NOT ALLOW ANY PART OF YOUR BODY TO BE UNDER THE VEHICLE while it is supported by the jack. I don't think I need to explain why. Finally, I suggest keeping a sturdy pair of leather gloves in your trunk to wear while working with tires. Not only will they keep most of the grime off your hands, but also will protect you from protruding steel belt strands.


    5 years ago

    Well written and easy to understand. Thanks!