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A flat tire is an unpleasant experience for anyone.
Like many people, I’ve discovered a flat tire before I leave the house. While inconvenient, that’s much better than experiencing one while driving.
In that circumstance, the best thing to is to find a safe, level place to pull over as soon as possible. Continuing to drive needlessly on a flat will cause damage to the tire. A patch is far less expensive that having to replace a tire.
Here’s the steps on how to change a flat tire.
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Tools, Supplies, and Steps
I’ve linked to several different retailers below for your convenience. I encourage you to shop around as I’ve found that each item may sell for less at a different retailer.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
- Do your best to park the vehicle on a flat, level surface.
- Turn on hazard lights and set out warning triangles.
- Access the spare tire and set it aside. If the spare was under the vehicle, make sure the tire carrier is tightened back in place.
- Loosen the lug nuts with your lug wrench using an X pattern.
- Place the jack according to the vehicle’s printed instructions in the manual and raise the vehicle up. The flat tire should move freely off the ground.
- Remove the lug nuts.
- Remove the flat tire.
- Place the spare tire on the lug studs. You may need to raise the jack up.
- Hand tighten the lug nuts in an X pattern until the tire is snug.
- Lower the jack all the way down.
- Completely tighten the lug nuts in an X pattern with your lug wrench.
Changing a Flat Tire
As you can see from the steps above, there isn’t anything particularly difficult about changing a flat tire on a vehicle.
Just be sure to work as safely as possible:
- Park the vehicle as far away from the highway as possible.
- Find a flat, level surface to park the vehicle on (to the best of your ability).
- Turn on hazard lights.
- Place warning triangles behind your vehicle.
- Fully read the instructions about changing tires in your vehicle manual.
Your vehicle manual should include tire-changing instructions. They usually also include instructions on where to place the jack that’s also included with your vehicle.
After the vehicle is lowered and the spare tire is mounted, don’t forget to gather all of your tools, warning triangles, and the flat tire.
The spare tire should list the recommended vehicle speed; generally you shouldn’t drive faster than 45 MPH. That can be an inconvenience, but the spare is a temporary fix that’s only meant to get you to a place where you can fix your main tire.
Do you have an interesting flat tire experience? Share it in the comments below!