A Quick Guide to Changing a Tire

Most drivers may rely on roadside assistance if one of their tires goes flat. What happens if it's late and you're in an area not easily accessible? Motorists may already know how to change a tire, but the skill may not come naturally as checking the oil or topping off the fluids. Emergencies happen when we least expect them; a flat tire can leave you stranded in the most undesirable locations. In the rare circumstance that your tire blows out, knowing how to change a tire is an asset. Whether you need a bit of a reminder or a complete walkthrough, Dhillon Motorsports is here to help. Below is a quick guide to changing a tire to get you back on the road safely in no time. 

Items you will need: 

  • Inflated spare tire
  • Jack 
  • Lug Wrench
  • Flashlight
  1. Pull your vehicle over to a safe location.
    If you notice your tire is flat, pull over to a safe area away from oncoming traffic. Scan the surroundings and make sure you're on level ground on a straight road. Never change your tire on a narrow or curved road. It's vital to move your vehicle a safe distance away from other drivers. Once you're in a safe location, turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists of your presence.
  2. Pull the parking brake. 
  3. Make sure your vehicle doesn't roll by applying the parking brake to keep it secure.
    If you have wheel wedges, secure them near the tires to prevent rolling. If you're replacing a front tire, place the wedges behind the rear tires. And vice versa, if you're replacing a rear tire. 
  4. If your tire has a hubcap, remove it.
    If there is a hubcap covering the lug nuts, remove the hubcap first. If the lug nuts are already exposed, move on to step five. 
  5. Loosen the lug nuts.  
  6. Grab the lug wrench and use it to loosen the lug nuts.
    Turn the lug wrench counterclockwise until their resistance is broken. You may have to strong-arm the wrench or use body weight to loosen the lug nuts. However, Don't remove the lug nuts all the way. The goal is to loosen them, and one-half turn should do the trick. 
  7. Place the jack underneath your vehicle.
    The jack should be placed underneath your vehicle's frame nearest the flat tire. Some vehicles may have molded plastic on the bottom of the frame created explicitly for the jack. Use your flashlight to see if you can spot it. 
  8. Use the jack to lift your vehicle.
    Once the jack is adequately placed underneath your vehicle, lift your car. Once your car is high enough, grab the lug wrench to unscrew the lug nuts. Never place any items or body parts underneath your vehicle while it's extended in the air.
  9.  Remove the lug nuts.
    Take the time to remove the lug nuts completed. If they're loose enough, you may be able to remove them by hand. 
  10.  Remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare. 
  11. Tighten the lug nuts. 
    Once you have placed the spare tire on your vehicle, screw the lug nuts back into place. You can screw the lug nuts by hand first and then use the lug wrench to tighten them after. 
  12. Lower your vehicle so the tire touches the ground, but the vehicle's full weight isn't mounted on it.
    Take a moment to use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts again; however, this time, use your body weight to fasten it a bit tighter.
  13. Lower the vehicle completed and replace the hubcap if necessary.  
  14. Stowaway all equipment back in the trunk.  

Knowing how to change a tire is an essential skill for safe driving. However, proper tire maintenance can help prevent unexpected flat tires. Once a month or so, check the pressure of your tires. If you don't have a tire gauge, gas stations have some available that you can access while fueling up. Give your tires a visual inspection and check that the tire tread is wearing evenly. Uneven tire wear can indicate issues with alignment or tire weight distribution. 

Wheel alignment in San Jose, CA 

Wheel Balance in San Jose, CA

Dhillon Motorsports Formerly Smog Man offers tire services for all vehicle makes and models. If you need a replacement tire, we have a vast selection to choose from. Our shop is stocked with reliable tire brands such as BFGoodrich, Dunlop, Bridgestone, and Michelin. We are the tire experts in the San Jose, CA - Bay Area. 

Click here to schedule an appointment

Or give us a call at 408-320-0238 

Mon-Fri 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday's from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.