We’ve all seen that person stuck on the side of the road changing a flat tire. Maybe you’ve been that person! Getting a flat is never convenient, but changing a tire yourself is actually a lot easier than you might realize. Knowing how to change a flat tire is one of those skills every driver should have to stay safe on the road.
Don’t get caught stranded because you don’t know how to change a tire. Even if you never got the lessons from a family member, we’ve got you covered with our guide on changing a flat tire.
It’s important to have the right tools on hand, even if you don’t have a flat tire, or expect to get one. The unpredictable situations are the best ones to be prepared for. Here’s what you want to keep in your vehicle:
- A spare tire that is properly inflated
- Your owner’s manual (flag common reference pages, including the spare tire and jack instructions, with a post-it note or other bookmark so you can find the information you need).
- Tire sealant and inflator
- Spray solvent to help loosen lug nuts
- Lug wrench
- Reflective hazard triangle
- Additional tools may be required depending on the make and model of your vehicle
If you get a blowout or find yourself with a flat on the road, pull to the side of the road at a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure you are visible to oncoming vehicles and that you are pulled off far enough to work on the side of the vehicle that has the flat tire without being in traffic. Read your owner’s manual for instructions or call for help if you need assistance changing the tire.
Remove the Flat Tire
- Jack up the car per the car jack’s manual instructions
- Use the lug wrench to loosen and remove the lug nuts from the tire
- Remove the tire from the car
- Save the lug nuts for the spare tire
Put on the Spare Tire
- Put the spare tire on the lug nut bolts and push until it cannot go any farther
- Screw on the lug nuts tightly (until you cannot tighten any further)
- Lower your vehicle back to the ground
- Make sure the lug nuts are tightened by using the lug wrench to apply firm pressure
- If you do not have a full-size spare tire, be sure not to exceed the recommended maximum distance or speed as described in your owner’s manual (typically the maximum speed recommended for a compact spare is 50 mph and should be driven no further than 70 miles)
Changing a Tire in 7 Easy Steps [Infographic]
But if you don’t have a spare tire or you need help changing a flat, Direct Auto Insurance can come to the rescue with Roadside Assistance so you can get back on the road. Just call, click, or come in for a free quote or to review your existing Direct policy.