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Tire Changing 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Updated: Feb 16

Picture this: you're cruising down the road, enjoying a drive on a sunny day, when suddenly, you hear that dreaded thumping sound. A flat tire! While it might seem daunting, changing a flat tire is a skill every driver should have. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of changing a flat tire safely and effectively.

Step 1: Find a Safe Spot

When you realize you have a flat tire, safely maneuver your vehicle to the side of the road or a designated parking area. Make sure you're far away from traffic and on a level surface. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

Before you start, ensure you have the necessary tools and equipment. You'll need:

  • Spare tire

  • Jack

  • Lug wrench

  • Vehicle owner's manual

Step 3: Loosen the Lug Nuts

Use the lug wrench to slightly loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire. Do not remove them completely at this stage.

Step 4: Lift the Vehicle

Position the jack according to your vehicle's manual. Carefully raise the vehicle off the ground until the flat tire is about an inch off the surface.

Step 5: Remove the Flat Tire

Fully remove the loosened lug nuts and take off the flat tire. Place the lug nuts in a safe spot where they won't roll away.

Step 6: Install the Spare Tire

Position the spare tire onto the wheelbase, lining up the holes with the lug bolts. Put the lug nuts back on and tighten them by hand as much as you can.

Step 7: Lower the Vehicle

Carefully lower the vehicle back down using the jack. Once the spare tire touches the ground, remove the jack and lower the vehicle completely.

Step 8: Tighten the Lug Nuts

Use the lug wrench to securely tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern. This ensures even pressure on the tire. Tighten them as much as you can.

Step 9: Double-Check Everything

Give the lug nuts one final tightening check to ensure they're secure. Inspect your work and make sure all tools are clear of the tire-changing area.

Step 10: Pack Up and Head to a Professional

Place the flat tire, jack, and tools back in your vehicle. Remember, a spare tire is not a permanent solution – it's meant for short distances and lower speeds. Head to a tire repair shop as soon as possible to have your flat tire inspected and repaired or replaced.


Changing a flat tire might feel intimidating at first, but with practice and a clear step-by-step approach, you'll become more confident in handling unexpected situations on the road. Always remember that safety comes first – if you ever feel unsure, don't hesitate to call for roadside assistance. Being prepared and knowing how to change a tire can make a significant difference in getting you back on the road with minimal hassle.

Stay tuned for more helpful tips and guides from American RTS. We're here to empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the road confidently. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us at (830) 624-5455.

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