Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I change a tire if I have a flat?

asked by on

How do I change a tire if I have a flat?

A: Spend enough time driving and it’s going to...

Spend enough time driving and it’s going to happen – you’re going to get a flat tire. It happens to all of us eventually. Knowing what to do will make the process less stressful and frustrating. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Pull over safely and park away from traffic.

  2. Park the vehicle on a level spot (make you’re on the pavement).

  3. Put the car in park.

  4. Put on the parking brake.

  5. Turn on your hazard lights.

  6. Turn the engine off (position 0 on the ignition).

  7. Don’t let anyone sit in the car while changing the flat.

  8. Locate the jack, spare tire and tools in the trunk.

  9. Position the jack under the car on the jack point behind or in front of the affected wheel (depending on the position of the flat).

  10. With the lug wrench, loosen each lug nut (but don’t remove them).

  11. Raise the car on the jack.

  12. Remove the lug nuts.

  13. Remove the flat tire.

  14. Install the spare.

  15. Install the lug nuts (hand tight).

  16. Lower the vehicle.

  17. Use the lug wrench to tighten the nuts using a star pattern (don’t overtighten them).

  18. Put the jack, tools and flat tire into the trunk.

  19. Have the flat repaired or replaced.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How to make a 3 years old, 45000 miles car driving like a new car

Hello. The vehicle may not ever feel like it did when you drove it off the lot. Overtime, wearing and driving over certain bumps can cause slight alterations to the feeling of the drive. In order to get the car...

Q: How do I put on a seat belt correctly?

Wearing a seat belt can save lives, but only if it’s put on correctly. Otherwise, it can be dangerous in an accident. Pull the shoulder belt forward so that it extends over the shoulder but not touching the neck....

Q: Rear brake pad replacement. Only one

If only one of your brake pads is grinding, this may suggest that you have a braking imbalance at one of the wheels. This may be caused by a collapsed or faulty brake line or otherwise lack of hydraulic pressure...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...