You can learn how to change a flat tire safely in your car and stop spending money and time in emergency road service. This guide shows you the step by step proper procedure to lift your vehicle and install the new tire in minutes.
Safety requirements Make sure that you are in a safe spot, if you are changing a flat tire on the road. Pull off to a place away from moving traffic and turn on your emergency lights to alert oncoming traffic.
Turning off the suspension system Turn off the Automatic Ride Control, if necessary. Check your car owner’s manual to verify if your car is equipped with this computer-controlled suspension system. In most cases, the switch for the system is located in the luggage compartment area.
Removal of the wheel cover Get the lug wrench out of the luggage compartment or trunk. Remove the wheel cover with the end of the lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts on the wheel and tire assembly you want to change.
Blocking the opposite tire Block the tire that is diagonally opposite the tire you want to change using a wooden block. For example, if you need to change the front, driver’s side tire, block the rear, passenger’s side tire. This will prevent your vehicle from rolling as you service the tire.
Positioning of the jack Position your floor jack under the axle tube, shock absorber, jacking bracket or control arm tab--the bracket assembly that holds the control arm on the frame side--and as near the tire you need to change as possible. A word of caution: If you need to raise the rear axle, do not place the floor jack under the differential--the round component in the middle of the rear axle. This may cause the gasket on the differential cover to leak in the future. When ready, raise the vehicle and support it with a jack stand.
Removal of the lug nuts Finish removing the lug nuts on the tire you need to change and remove the tire and wheel assembly off the wheel hub.
Placing the new tire Place the new tire and wheel assembly on the wheel hub. Make sure that the tire and wheel assembly is all the way back against the wheel hub and install the lug nuts by hand first. Tighten the lug nuts snugly with the lug wrench.
Tightening the lug nuts Lower your vehicle off the jack stand. And now, tighten the lug nuts evenly and gradually using a star pattern.