Most vehicles come with a basic set of tools necessary to change a tire as well as a spare. Sometimes the spare is a smaller tire commonly known as a donut tire. Consult your owner’s manual to see where your spare tire and tools are stored in the car. Usually, they’re stored in compartments in or under the trunk.
Engage the parking brake. In the event that you are not parked safely in your driveway when you need to change your tire, you will need to secure the location to ensure your safety. To do this, evaluate the situation, determine the risks, and take measures to mitigate or reduce these risks. For example, if you get a flat while driving down the highway, you should pull as far to the side as possible and set up flares or warning signal.
Use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may have to remove the hubcap to get access to the lug nuts. The lug nuts should be very tight so you’ll have to use a lot of force to get them started. You should hear a sharp crack when they finally start turning. Don’t remove the lug nuts entirely, just get them loosened.
There are different kinds of jacks and different places on the frame of the car to place them, so consult the owner’s manual to be sure that you place the jack in the correct position. Turn or crank the jack so that it lifts up to meet the frame of the car. Once the jack has engaged the frame, continue turning or cranking until the car is lifted up and the tire is about an inch off the ground.
Use the lug wrench or your fingers to remove the lug nuts and put them in a safe place. Once all the lug nuts are removed, pull the tire off the wheel studs and lay it down in a safe place. Tires are heavy so be prepared.
Move the spare tire into position and lift it up onto the wheel studs. Replace the lug nuts by first hand-tightening them and then using the lug wrench. It’s important that you tighten the lug nuts in a star or cross pattern to ensure that the tire is as vertical as possible. Once you’ve tightened all the lug nuts, do it again and put as much force into it as you can to ensure that they are as tight as possible.
Lower the jack so that the new tire is bearing the weight of the car. Put the flat tire in your car and return the tools. If your spare tire is a donut tire, it is a temporary replacement until you can get the original tire fixed or replaced. Get to a tire shop and have the tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible.