There’s nothing quite so frustrating as driving to work and feeling something that’s not quite right with your car. The car seems to be driving a bit wobbly and it appears to be on the right-hand side. You’re experiencing a flat tire and now, you’re stranded. What should you do? You’ll have to figure out how to change a tire. Let’s learn how together.

Make Sure You Have A Spare Tire!

flat tireFirst, always make sure that you have a spare tire and the required tools to remove the flat tire from your car and replace it with the spare. You’ll want to make sure that you’re carrying a jack, a lug wrench, and the spare tire with you in the trunk or another area of your car for a spare tire. You’ll also want to make sure that you understand how to use your tire changing tools, otherwise, they do you no good.

It’s also important to understand if your car has wheel locks. If so, you’re going to have to have the “key” so that you can “unlock” your wheels to change the tire. Without this, you’ll be stranded. Most cars that have these have a special device in the glove box that they fit into, some will have this in the trunk of the car.

Another item that you may wish to invest in is a can of “Fix-a-Flat”. This is a sealant that you can put into the tire that will seal the tire long enough for you to get to the nearest gas station or tire repair shop (providing it’s not more than 50 miles away).

Make sure Your Car Is In A Safe Place

Also, make sure you are parked safely out of traffic before you change your flat tire! Sometimes this means rolling slowly on the flat tire to move your car to safety. If you can’t get to a safe place – do not change your tire! Now is the time to call a tow truck.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s work on that tire.

Make sure that you’re parked on the flattest area possible and put the car into park. If you have a 5 speed, put it in 1st gear. Set your emergency break now. Be sure that you turn on your emergency or hazard lights so that oncoming traffic and those behind you can see that you’re there on the side of the road.

Lay your tools out near the flat tire. Take the spare tire out of the trunk and lay it nearby as well. Forget trying to stay clean, you’re just going to have to get dirty to do this so you may wish to have an old shirt in the trunk as well in case you have to pull it on over nicer work clothes. Okay, be sure that you follow the next steps carefully. They’re important.

Go ahead and set your jack underneath of your car in a stable location. Don’t lift the car yet. First, loosen the lug nuts. Use a “star pattern” to loosen the lug nuts so that the weight of the car is properly distributed. You’ll have to really use a lot of strength for this step so be sure to use your own body weight to push those nuts free. Don’t remove them just yet but make sure they’re loose.

Now, ensure that the jack is in a stable location and raise the car until the tire is off the ground. Remove the lug nuts and the tire. Place the spare on the car ensuring that it’s facing the right way. Tighten the lug nuts.

Now lower the car and finish tightening all of the lug nuts with your wrench. Put everything back where it goes and make sure to check your tire pressure at the nearest tire station. Have a safe day.