Being stuck on the side of the road due to a flat tire is one of the most dreadful situations a person may find themselves in. This is because you may be left exposed and unprotected from oncoming traffic or you’re stuck in an area with horrible cell phone reception, or it’s an area that is sparsely populated which means it will take a while before someone comes to your rescue. Sounds like a horror movie, doesn’t it?

For most people, services such as AAA provide the roadside-assistance that is needed in these situations. 

If you choose to change your tire yourself, make sure to read your owner’s manual first. It will tell you precisely which tools to use and how to use them, so you will ensure that your vehicle is not damaged during the tire-changing process. It’s good to practice at home a few times to make sure you’re performing all the steps properly. Plus, when you’re at home, you won’t have the added stress of oncoming traffic.

How to Change Your Car’s Tire

  • Make sure your car is placed on a flat surface. Being on solid ground will be helpful in using the jack safely. Carrying a small wooden board in the truck of your car can help provide a flat surface on which to change the tire. 
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Put your car in park. Also, Set the emergency brake.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual to quickly refresh yourself with the proper steps to change your tire. Remember, your safety is what’s most important here.
  • Get the spare tire, jack, and tools you need to perform the job. All of these tools should be in the truck or the cargo area. If you have a truck, minivan, or SUV, it’s possible that your spare tire is placed underneath the vehicle and will need to be lowered down.
  • Use a floor mat to make a more comfortable area upon which you can kneel while changing your tire.
  • If there is a wheel cover, remove it. 
  • Loosen but do not remove the lug nuts with the tire iron, turning counterclockwise. 
  • Jack up the car. Make sure the jack is positioned under the specific point of the vehicle’s body as what is stated in your owner’s manual. Follow the instructions very carefully because not doing so may damage your vehicle. Lift the side of the car until the flat tire is a few inches off the ground, then remove the lug nuts and the flat tire. 
  • Install the spare tire. Lightly tighten the lug nuts in a cross pattern, alternating across as if you’re drawing a star. 
  • Lower the jack and remove it from under the car.
  • Tighten the lug nuts firmly in a cross pattern motion.
  • Place the flat tire, jack, and tools in the car.