How to change a flat tire
A critical life skill that everyone should have is the ability to change a car tire.
You never know when you’ll need to change a flat tire and it pays to know what to do in an emergency. Sure, you may have road service come out to help but for those times where they can’t - you’ll be glad you knew this all important life skill.
So let’s learn how to change a flat (practice does make perfect but at Shazza we wish you all safe driving for millions of miles and that you never actually need to worry about flat tires!)
How to Change a Flat Tire
If you've ever had a flat tire, you know how frustrating it can be. But changing a flat tire is actually pretty easy, and it's a skill that everyone should know.
Here are the steps on how to change a flat tire:
Find a safe location Pull over to the side of the road in a safe location. If possible, pull over to a well-lit area with a shoulder wide enough for your car.
Turn on your hazard lights This will alert other drivers that you're having car trouble.
Apply the parking brake This will help to keep your car from rolling while you're changing the tire.
Get the tools you need
You'll need a jack, a lug wrench, and a spare tire. These items should be in your car's trunk.
Place wheel wedges
Wheel wedges will help to keep your car from rolling while you're working on the flat tire. Place them in front of the front tires if you're changing a rear tire, or behind the rear tires if you're changing a front tire.
Remove the hubcap
If your tire has a hubcap, remove it using the lug wrench.
Loosen the lug nuts
Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire. Don't remove them completely yet.
Place the jack under the car
Follow the instructions in your car's owner's manual to find the correct spot to place the jack.
Raise the car
Use the jack to raise the car until the flat tire is about 6 inches off the ground.
Remove the lug nuts
Once the car is raised, remove the lug nuts completely.
Remove the flat tire
Carefully remove the flat tire from the car.
Put the spare tire on
Line up the spare tire with the lug bolts on the hub. Put the lug nuts back on and tighten them by hand.
Lower the car
Use the jack to lower the car until the spare tire is resting on the ground.
Tighten the lug nuts
Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the maximum.
Remove the jack
Remove the jack and put it away.
Replace the hubcap
If your spare tire has a hubcap, replace it.
Check the spare tire pressure
Make sure the spare tire is properly inflated.
Drive to a service station Have a professional inspect the flat tire to see if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Tips for changing a flat tire:
Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the dirt and grime.
If you're not sure where to place the jack, consult your car's owner's manual - we also recommend asking the car owner just before you rent the car!
Be careful not to over-tighten the lug nuts.
Once you've changed the tire, drive to a service station to have the flat tire inspected.
How long does it take to change a flat tire?
Changing a flat tire should take about 20-30 minutes. However, if you're not familiar with the process, it may take you a little longer.
With a little practice, you'll be able to change a flat tire in no time. So don't be afraid to give it a try!
Want to learn another life skill? Learn how to jump start a dead car battery.