How to Change a Tire: Step-by-Step Guide

Driving isn’t the only thing you should know how to do when you have a car. Basic vehicle maintenance and repair are also important knowledge to have for your vehicle’s health and your own safety.

This is especially true in the unplanned event of a flat tire. That’s why our team at Tri County Toyota got together to create this step-by-step guide to changing a tire - so that you’ll know what to do when the unexpected happens.

First Things First


Find a safe location.

Reduce your speed slowly and scan your surroundings for some solid, level ground. It’s best to avoid soft ground and hills to prevent rolling or instability. Try to park as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights.

If you’re on a narrow shoulder, keep driving slowly until you find a safer spot. Replacing a rim is better than being hit by an inattentive driver.

Then, get out that owner’s manual - you’ll need to use it.

How to change a tire step-by-step guide at Tri County Toyota in Royersford | Man changing car tire


What You’ll Need


Stuff that should’ve come with your vehicle:


1. Vehicle owner’s manual

2. Fully inflated spare tire

3. Lug wrench

4. Car Jack


Other stuff that you should have on hand:


1. Small cut of 2x6” wood to secure the jack

2. Flashlight (with batteries)

3. Wheel wedges

4. Gloves

5. Rain poncho


Always make sure you have these items in your car, just in case. If you don’t, we suggest purchasing or gathering new ones ASAP.


How to Change Your Tire


After you’ve found a safe location, follow these steps to replace your flat tire (and check your owner’s manual for more specifics):


1. Apply the parking brake & wheel wedges - Always use these to reduce your chances of rolling. If you’re changing a back tire, put the wheel wedges in front of the front tires. If you’re changing a front tire, put them behind the rear wheels.

2. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover - Consult the owner’s manual for proper hubcap or wheel cover removal. If your lug nuts are exposed, then you can skip this step.

3. Loosen the lug nuts - Using your lug wrench and a little elbow grease, loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn counterclockwise (but don’t completely remove them). They could be on tight, so give it all you got.

4. Place the jack beneath the vehicle frame alongside the flat tire - Most vehicles have an exposed metal area specifically for the jack. Follow the owner’s manual for specific instructions on where to place the jack.

5. Raise the vehicle with the jack - Place a small cut of 2x6” wood beneath the jack before raising the vehicle to prevent the jack from settling under the weight and coming off balance. Raise about 6-inches off the ground.

6. Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the flat tire - Remove the lug nuts completely, then grip the tire by the treads and carefully pull it free from the hub behind it. Set the flat tire aside.

7. Mount the spare tire on the lug bolts - Line up the rim with the lug bolts. Push the tire back gently until the lug bolts show through.

8. Tighten the lug nuts by hand - Put the lug nuts on the lug bolts and tighten them as much as possible by hand.

9. Lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts again - Lower until the spare tire is resting on the ground, but the full weight isn’t on it yet. Tighten the lug nuts with the wrench now, pushing down on it with the full weight of your body.

10. Lower the vehicle completely - Remove the jack when the car is on the ground again. Give another pull on the lug nuts with the wrench to make sure they’re as tight as possible.

11. Replace the hubcap and stow all equipment - The hubcap might not fit on the spare, so if that’s the case just stow it away with the rest of your equipment for the time being.

12. Check the spare tire’s pressure - Make sure it’s safe to drive on, and if it isn’t then immediately drive (slowly) to a service station.

13. Visit a technician - Temporary spare tires aren’t supposed to be driven for long distances or high speeds, so visit a technician ASAP so they can determine if your tire needs a repair or replacement. Drive cautiously until then


How to change a tire step-by-step guide at Tri County Toyota in Royersford | Man shaking hand with toyota technician

If you have any questions or would like to know more about tires and servicing, talk to one of our talented service technicians at Tri County Toyota.

Related Posts



How to check your tires' health at Tri County Toyota of Royersford | Toyota Technician checking car tire

How often should you wash your car?

A car is a considerable investment, which is why you care ...

Learn more!
How often your car should be washed at Tri County Toyota in Royersford

How often should you wash your car?

A car is a considerable investment, which is why you care ...

Learn more!
How to clean your car’s interior at Tri County Toyota in Royersford

A DIY Guide To Cleaning The Interior Of Your Car

Keeping a clean car might seem like just a matter of preference ...

Learn more!
What you can get to personalize your vehicle at Tri County Toyota in Royersford

What are ways you can personalize your Toyota?

For some people, functionality is the only thing that matters ...

Learn more!