The Beginner’s Guide to Changing a Flat Tyre

Like if this guide is helpful

Written by:  ridestory
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

Before you get stuck

Changing a flat tyre on your car should be common knowledge for any driver. Why wait for roadside service or rely on a friend to come help? That’s just an inconvenience. Don’t be shy about it. Pick a day to change the tyre in your garage or driveway. Learning how to do it when it’s not an emergency will help you feel more comfortable doing it when it is. It’s really quite simple and after you’ve done it a few times, it’s a snap.
Today's spare tires are smaller and lighter.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Today's spare tires are smaller and lighter.

The Donut

As you might expect,  cars always come with a jack, a lug wrench and a spare tyre. For the sake of weight and space savings, today’s cars come with a  spare tyre commonly referred to as a ‘donut’. These are smaller, narrower and lighter than a normal size tyre for your car and are meant to only be used for a short time. In other words, once you’ve changed the tyre and the donut is on, head straight to a tyre shop. 
Keep the car from rolling with tire chocks.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Keep the car from rolling with tire chocks.

Chock it up

After finding a safe place to change the flat tyre, set the parking brake. Place  tyre chocks behind and in front of the tyres that won’t be lifted by the jack. The chocks will help stabilise the car and keep it from rolling while you’re loosening the lug nuts. Plus, the chocks will help keep the car from rolling off the jack while it’s in the air.
This is a common seen lug wrench in today's cars.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
This is a common seen lug wrench in today's cars.

The lug nut wrench

Next, you need to loosen the lug nuts. Yes, do this before raising the car on the jack. With the car on the ground, it will be easier to break the lug nuts loose. The lug wrench is the tool for the job and should be in your car’s boot or under the rear deck. The lug nuts hold the wheel and, of course, the tyre, to the car’s hub.
Scissor jacks are common in many of today's new cars.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Scissor jacks are common in many of today's new cars.
Here's a scissor jack in detail.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Here's a scissor jack in detail.

Lifting with a scissor jack

With the lug nuts loose, place the  jack under the car. Today’s cars usually have a scissor jack, again in the name of space savings and less weight. If you have a unibody car, look for the specific jack points to be used when raising the car. These are designed to hold the weight of the car without damaging the unibody or any trim pieces that may be on the underside of the car. You can check your car’s owner’s manual for the locations. 
This isn’t an issue with a body on frame vehicle, such as a pickup truck or older model SUV. With vehicles such as these, place the jack under the frame in front of the rear tire or behind the front tyre. 
After positioning the jack, you crank it up using the lug wrench as the handle. Lift the car up far enough so you can get the flat  tyre off and put the spare on. Be careful while lifting the car. If at any time it looks unstable, stop and lower the car to fix the problem. 

A jack stand can help hold your car up while you're changing a flat tire.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
A jack stand can help hold your car up while you're changing a flat tire.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

Jack stands for added safety

For added safety, you can keep one or two  jack stands in your car’s boot. These can be positioned near the jack so in case the jack fails and thus, the car, the jack stand would keep the far from falling. 
With the car up, you can remove the lug nuts completely and pull off the flat tyre. Here's a useful tip. If you don't have jack stands, you can put the flat tyre under the car. If the jack does fail, the spare will keep the car from falling to the ground. It may save you from an injury or save your car from being damaged.
Finish tightening the lug nuts once the car is off the jack.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Finish tightening the lug nuts once the car is off the jack.

Tightening the lug nuts

You can now place the spare tyre on the wheel bolts and start putting the lug nuts on. Push the spare tyre against the wheel hub as far as possible and hand tighten all of the lug nuts. Then begin tightening the lug nuts with the wrench in a star pattern, but only one full turn at a time. This way the wheel will snug up against the hub equally, without one lug nut being fully tightened before the others. Don’t use too much force with the lug wrench. You don’t want to pull the car off the jack. 
Next, pull the flat tyre out from under the car and lower the car to the ground. You can now finish tightening the lug nuts. Get the nuts as tight as you can, then store the flat tyre in the boot. 

Congratulations!


You accomplished something great and saved yourself a lot of time by doing it yourself. And with the time you saved, you can find parts for your car using eBay’s tool to search for what’s available for your car. You never know, you may be able to find yourself a new spare tyre.
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 1 more photo
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 1 more photo
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 1 more photo
Edit Link Remove
Add up to 1 more photo
Link to an eBay page Remove
Add up to 3 more photos
Link to an eBay page

Written by:  ridestory
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides