How to Change A Tire the Smart and Safe Way

Are you worried because your tire is flat and you have no idea how to change it?  The good news is that changing a tire is relatively easy. Let’s break down a step-wise approach to  changing a tire so that when the time comes you’ll be prepared.

  1. Step 1: Be Prepared with All the Right Tools

The first and most important step is to be prepared at all times. You should have spare tires, tools, a jack, and jack stands in your vehicle.

There are also some additional items that you should plan to have in your car. For example,  work gloves, snow shovel, tarp, warning triangles or cones, tire pressure gauge, and safety vest.

When you have a spare tire in your car, you should check that it’s in working condition. A spare tire with no air is about as useless as the flat on your vehicle.

  1. Step 2: Choose the Right Spot for Changing the Tire

Now, it is essential that you must choose the appropriate place for changing the tire. Ideally a hard and levelled surface is best.

Once the car gets parked, it is important that you start by engaging the parking brake and chocking the wheel that is opposite the side that is being raised.0

If you do not have a wheel chock in your car, then you can make use of a piece of wood or rock that you find by the roadside.

This prevents the vehicle from rolling when it’s raised.

  1. Step 3: Start by Getting the Lug Nuts Loose

If your vehicle has a wheel cap, remove it first with a screwdriver or with the flat end of the lug wrench.

Note: For some vehicles, the wheel cap is held by the wheel nuts. Leave this cover on the flat wheel.

Loosen the nuts with the lug key by turning the nuts counterclockwise. Never pull up on the wrench. If the nuts are too firm, loosen them with penetrating oil.

At this stage we are just loosening the nuts before we raise the vehicle.

  1. Step 4: It Is Time to Jack Up Your Car

Now, you need to determine where to place the jack under the vehicle for the specific wheel you are about to take off. If you have one, you should consider using a jack stand for added safety. You can find a number of options on the Vehicle Lab. Most vehicles weigh 3-4 tons, so a 6 ton jack should work.

You have to position your jack in a way that the jack handle points out without an issue. You want to jack your vehicle up at least 6 inches or however much is required to change the tire.

  1. Step 5: Remove the Old Tire

The next step is to remove the tire. Start by removing the loosened lug nuts. In most cases, the lug nuts will fall off when you spin them. Pull the tire towards you and place it under your vehicle in case your jack or jack stands move.

If you run into trouble removing the tire, then you might need to kick the sidewall or hit it with a hammer to remove the dust.

Once the flat tire gets removed, you can put the spare tire in its place.

  1. Step 6: Time to Put on The Spare Tire

Take out the spare tire from under the loading floor. Next, you should make it a point to line up the wheel bolts.

Then grab your lug nuts and start by hand turning them clockwise. Then take your wrench and turn the lug nuts tight enough to hold the tire in place. Don’t completely tighten then.

Now, it is time to lower your car. You have to turn your jack handle in the opposite direction so that it becomes easy to lower the car to the ground.

Grab your wrench again and tighten your lug nuts in the proper sequence in order to distribute the load evenly.

Remember that you should only drive on a spare tire for short distances. They are not full-size tires and are not meant to be driven on for long periods of time.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.