Essential Skills: How to Change a Flat Tire

First step: Read this guide.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

Getting a flat tire is always a hassle, but with this quick guide it doesn't have to be stressful. Follow these steps and you'll back on the road in no time.

1. Have a car jack, wrench and spare tire ready in your vehicle for when the inevitable eventually arises. Turn on your hazard lights and stop somewhere safe and flat.


2. Take off the hubcap and get your trusty lug wrench. Loosen the lug nuts half a turn, but don’t remove them yet.

3. Find the jacking point and raise the car. You can find the recommended spot in your owner’s manual. Place the jack underneath it and raise the car to about six inches.

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4. Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Make sure to place the lug nuts in your hubcap so they don’t role away.

5. Put on the spare tire. Before you push in the spare, make sure the holes in the spare are lined up with the lug nut posts on the car.

6. Replace the lug nuts and tighten them with your hands. Use the wrench to tighten them until you feel firm resistance. Replace them following a criss-cross or star pattern.


7. Lower the car carefully to the ground. Completely and securely tighten the lug nuts using the same pattern as earlier. 

8. Put the hubcap back on. Return your tools and flat tire where the spare was stored.

9. Remember to bring your car to a mechanic. Changing your flat yourself is only a temporary solution. Also, you'll need to pick up a new spare tire.

This guide contains instructions from and

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Christopher Puhm
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