How to Change Car Tires 101

“Everyone Who Drives Should Know How to Change Tires”

As my dad used to say, “everyone who drives should know how to change car tires.” Even though many people have some form of Roadside Assistance (such as BMW Subscription Service in Nashville), what happens if you don’t have a cell phone signal? Or, they can’t get there in a reasonable amount of time? What if you forgot to pay the renewal fee?

Head knowledge is good. Practice is even better. So, grab your tools and head out to your car. Someday you may be glad you did.

How to Change Car Tires in 10 Easy Steps

We already hinted at Step #1. Gather your tools.

  • Spare Tire
  • Jack
  • Lug Wrench (we recommend a four-way)
  • Wheel Wedges
  • Flashlight (for nighttime flats)

Safety Note:  Move away from traffic as far as possible. Turn on your hazard lights and try to park on a flat paved surface. If you cannot change the tire safely, wait for help.

Steps 2-10: Changing the Flat

How to Change Car Tires 101 - Lifting Vehicle Safely - Pixabay - EuroDrift
How to Change Car Tires 101 – Lifting Vehicle Safely – Pixabay – EuroDrift

2. Place the wedges behind the tires on the side of the car that is opposite of the flat.

3. Loosen your lug nuts with the lug wrench but don’t remove them. You may need to pry off the hubcap.

4. Put the jack under the frame of the car (look for solid metal near the flat) and raise the car approximately 6 inches off the ground.

5. Remove all the lug nuts (don’t lose them!) in a criss-cross pattern, rather than clockwise or counter-clockwise.

6. Swap your spare for the flat tire.

7. Replace the lug nuts in a criss-cross pattern and snug them up using your hand only. Do not tighten them with the lug wrench!

8. Lower the jack until the spare is on the ground and remove the jack.

9. Tighten half of the lug nuts with the wrench. Tighten one, skip one, tighten the next, and so on until all of them are secure.

10. Drive to the nearest repair shop or home if it’s close. This is especially important if you have one of those small temporary spares. They are designed to get you to help, not for driving long distances.

A Word About Your Spare Tire

How to Change a Car Tire – HowtoBasic – YouTube

You need a spare in good condition and one that’s properly inflated. Each time you have your oil changed, make a point of checking your spare tire. You may also want to print out a copy of How to Change Car Tires 101 and put it with your car manual or jack.

You may find yourself glad that you did.

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