How to Change a Tire

Flats happen. Knowing exactly what to do when you get a flat tire is the best way to get through the inconvenience quickly and efficiently. At Telle Tire, we’re dedicated to keeping you safe on the road, so we put together a step-by-step guide on how to change a tire.

It’s important to note that you should always pull your vehicle into a safe environment to change a tire. Never put yourself in a situation where you might be struck by another vehicle.

1. Secure Your Vehicle

First and foremost, get your vehicle to a safe location. Driving any amount of distance on a flat tire is not recommended as it can damage your rim or your TPMS sensor. However, if you’re in a busy intersection or on the highway, drive extremely slowly with your hazards on to park your car in a safe location.

2. Put Your Hazard Lights On

Once you are in a safe location, keep your hazard lights on. This lets other vehicles know that you’re experiencing an emergency and you need plenty of room. Consult your vehicle’s manual if you’re unsure how to turn your hazard lights on.

3. Loosen the Lug Nuts

Using the lug wrench included with your vehicle, loosen the lug nuts on your wheel, but do not remove them all the way just yet. There are typically 5 lug nuts per wheel.

4. Raise Your Vehicle with a Jack

Your vehicle comes equipped with a jack (usually stored in the trunk near your spare tire) to use in the event you need to change a tire or do other maintenance work on the underside of the car. There are slight differences in jacks depending on your vehicle’s make and model, so make sure you consult your manual to understand how to safely operate your specific jack. 

Once you have assembled your jack, position it under the jack point (consult your vehicle’s manual to accurately locate this point). As you turn the handle clockwise, take your time and make sure that the jack remains stable as it lifts your car. You can stop turning the handle once your flat tire is fully off the ground. 

5. Remove the Lug Nuts

Now you can fully remove the lug nuts on your flat tire wheel. Keep track of them by placing them in a secure spot, like a bowl or bag nearby.

If you’re struggling to remove lug nuts due to rust or because they’re stripped, there are other removal methods you might have to try.

6. Remove the Flat Tire

After you’ve removed the lug nuts and placed them in a secure spot, you should be able to remove your flat tire. You might have to wiggle the tire slightly to loosen it enough to pull off your vehicle. Set the flat tire aside.

7. Mount Spare Tire on Lug Bolts

Now you can put your spare tire on your wheel. Spare tires are typically located in the trunk of your vehicle, sometimes under the cargo floor mat. Consult your vehicle’s manual to determine where your spare tire is located. Line up the holes on the spare tire with the lug bolts and push the tire as far back as it will go.

What if I Don’t Have a Spare Tire?

It is becoming more common for newer vehicles to no longer carry a spare. If you have a flat tire, with no spare, there are still options!

Keeping a tire repair kit in your car to temporarily seal a puncture can save you enough time to get to a repair shop. Otherwise, calling roadside assistance is a safe option to get you back on the road or to a repair shop quickly. 

8. Hand Tighten Lug Nuts

To secure the tire enough to lower your vehicle, hand tighten the lug nuts. They do not have to be extremely tight. 

9. Lower Vehicle with a Jack

By rotating the jack handle counterclockwise, you should see the vehicle lowering. At this stage, you do not want to lower the vehicle completely just yet. Stop lowering the vehicle once the spare tire makes contact with the ground.

10. Tighten Lug Nuts Again

Using the lug wrench once again, tighten the lug nuts completely, making sure the tire stays straight as you tighten. Continue tightening them in increments until they will no longer budge.

11. Lower Vehicle Completely and Remove Jack

Now you can lower the vehicle completely. Once the jack is completely released from the vehicle, pull it out from underneath the vehicle. It’s a good idea to check the tightness of the lug nuts again with the lug wrench to ensure they didn’t loosen up.

12. Put all Equipment and Flat Tire in Trunk

Congratulations, you just changed a tire! Make sure you put all of your equipment (lug wrench, jack, safety equipment, etc.) back into your trunk or their designated areas. It’s a good idea to load your flat tire in your trunk or your back space to take to Telle Tire for inspection.

Conclusion

With this guide, we hope you feel more confident on the road. In the event you do have a flat, put on your spare and drive over to Telle Tire so that we can fix you right up with our flat tire repair services.

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