How To Change A Flat Tire

Your car might blow a tire on the highway, and you might not be able to call a tow truck. In that case, it's helpful to know how to replace your own tire.

How To Change A Flat Tire

Besides traction control, airbags and ABS your car has another safety measure, and that is to aide your car in its last line of defense against the tarmac. That is the spare tire.

Some manufacturers sell their cars with what are called Runflat tires, which are designed to run for a few miles even after deflating. However cars that don’t come with this kind of tire come with a spare tire and a jack. On the side of the road, you will be able to jack up the corner of your car with the flat tire, remove the flat, put the spare tire on your car, lower that corner and be on your merry way.

But it can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. Jacking up a car in and of itself can result in punching the jack right through the floorboards if you don’t place it correctly. Also be aware that a spare tire is a temporary solution at best, and should only be driven on from the moment you mounted it, directly to a tire shop.

How to jack up a car

The jack that comes with your car will be designed to support your car under its specific mounting points. In other words, it’s meant to work specifically with your car’s jacking points. Jack points are pieces of the car’s underside, and your owner’s manual will point them out in a diagram.

The jack points are reinforced, so they’ll be thicker and fairly obvious to spot, as they shouldn’t be more than a few inches wide. These points are strong enough to support the weight of that part of the car.

How To change a tire

Before you jack up the car, remove the lug nuts holding in the flat tire-equipped wheel, and set the emergency brake (if in a front wheel drive manual car).

  • Jack up the car

  • Remove the wheel
  • Replace it with the spare tire
  • Hand-tighten the lug nuts, and then lower the car.
Car Maintenance

There should be a tool for tightening the lug nuts, so use it to tighten them as much as you can, the rest of the way when the car is back on the ground. Then you’re all done, and you can throw the wheel with the flat tire into the trunk.

When jacking up the car, make sure the surface on which you’re raising the car is flat. If it’s at an incline, the car may lift unevenly and put stress on a small portion of the jack’s base instead of the entire jack itself.

That’s basically all you need to know for how to change a flat tire. Remember you need to drive the car directly to a tire shop as soon as you’re done. Spare tires are typically only designed for 55 mph speeds, so don’t hit your usual 90 on the highway.

The Instamotor TeamThe Instamotor Team

Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.

Find Cars From Your Phone

Instamotor's free app helps you find used cars for sale. Buying and selling a used car has never been safer and easier.