To change a tire safely, be sure to use the proper supplies and procedure.
Tire Change Supplies:
- Spare Tire
- Car jack for your model
- Tire air gauge
- Lug nut wrench for your model
Tire Change 12-Step Process:
1. Wherever your flat occurs, be sure to pull your car as far off the road as possible for your own safety. Make sure that you pull the car onto the most level area available. Once your car is safely off the road, turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights. Next, apply the parking break to prevent the car from rolling. Open the hood to show other drivers that you have pulled off the road for repairs.
2. Place something such as a rock or wheel block in front of the opposing wheel so that the car won't roll.
3. Get out your spare tire, car jack, tire gauge and lug nut wrench.
4. If there is a hubcap on your wheel remove it with the lug nut wrench.
5. Use your lug nut wrench to loosen the lug nuts. This is putting the lug nut wrench over a lug nut and turning it to the left to loosen it. Loosen the lug nuts in a star pattern; loosen one lug nut and the one opposite from it until all of the lug nuts are slightly loose.
6. Refer to your owner's manual to see where the car jack should be placed before you jack the car up. Take your tire jack and jack the car up slightly higher than needed to remove the flat tire and put the new one on.
7. Remove the lug nuts and put them in a safe place so you don't lose them.
8. Remove the flat tire and exchange it with the spare.
9.Take the new tire, with the air valve facing out, and place it on the wheel studs.
10.Replace the lug nuts by tightening them the same way you loosened them. Make your way around the tire tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern.
11. Carefully lower the car jack and place it back in the car. After you lower the car, tighten the lug nuts once more and make them as tight as you possibly can.
12. Put the hubcap back on if necessary and check the air pressure of your spare with your tire air gauge. If the tire pressure is safe to drive on, jump in your car and you're on your way.
If you have to change a tire, don't be alarmed when you see the TPMS light illuminate or flash after you install the spare. It's just the system's way of letting you know it can't find a TPMS unit in the spare tire, so nothing to worry about there.
Our promise: Buy tires from any of our stores, and we'll fix your flat for free!
Note: Any recommendations provided on this site are general in nature. We recommend that you always consult your vehicle's Owner's Manual, the vehicle manufacturer or an associate at your local store for vehicle specific recommendations.
Inspect your tires in 1 minute
What are the dangers of worn tires?
How to handle hydroplaning
The truth about tire plug repairs
View Tire Service & Repair page