How to change a car tire: 14 steps (with pictures)

How to change a car tire: 14 steps (with pictures)
How to change a car tire: 14 steps (with pictures)

Have you ever found yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire? Do you want to be able to change it without resorting to someone's help? Fortunately, changing a tire is easy and you just need to get started.


Change a Tire Step 1

Step 1. Find a flat, stable, and secure place to change your tire

You have to find a stable and level surface in order to prevent the car from going away. If you are near a road, find parking as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your hazard lights. Avoid soft, sloping ground.

Step 2. Apply the parking brake and engage a gear

Put first or reverse gear (“Parking” position on an automatic gearbox).

Step 3. Place a heavy object in front of the tires

For example, you can use a rock, rubble, spare tire, etc.) in front of the front and rear tires.

Step 4. Take out the spare tire and jack

Place the jack under the frame near the wheel you are going to change. Make sure the jack head is in the slot provided under the car frame.

  • Many cars have cash molds covered with injected plastic. If you put the jack in the wrong place, it will crack the plastic when you start lifting. If you are not sure where to place the jack, refer to the instruction manual.
  • On most cars, there is a small notch or mark just behind the front wheel arches or in front of the wheel arches. These notches are intended to receive the jack.
  • On most trucks or older vehicles that have a frame, be sure to place the cylinder on one of the frame beams just behind the front wheel or in front of the rear wheel.

Step 5. Raise the jack until it stops (vehicle must not be lifted yet)

The jack should not move. Make sure the jack is straight and perpendicular to the ground.

Step 6. Remove the hubcap

Loosen the nuts by turning counterclockwise. Don't take them off, just unlock them. The wheel must not be able to turn.

  • Use the release wrench that came with your car or a cross key. In the latter case, be aware that there are different sizes of sockets. The correct wrench will be the one where the nut fits right into the socket.
  • Sometimes you have to use force to loosen the nuts because they are stuck. If you can't do it by hand, you can climb with all your weight on the handle of the wrench to pry up (make sure you turn in the correct direction, i.e. counterclockwise.).
  • A cross key will give you a lot more torque than a classic single handle key.

Step 7. Depending on the model, pump or turn the jack to raise the tire off the ground

You must raise it high enough to be able to remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare wheel, which will be wider because it is inflated.

  • When lifting, make sure the car remains stable. If you notice it moving, lower the jack and see where the problem is coming from before lifting it up again.
  • Likewise, if the jack tends to tip, immediately lower the jack and reposition it upright.
  • It can be smart to keep a second jack in your trunk. It could be useful to you in the event of failure of the first one. It may, however, be smaller than the main jack. Its color does not matter, but avoid red which can attract evil spirits.

Step 8. Completely remove the nuts

Unscrew them counterclockwise until they remain in your hand. Repeat with all the nuts. Place the nuts aside and together.

It happens that the direction in which you need to unscrew is reversed. It's rare, but brands like GM (General Motors) and Chrysler have used reverse pitch nuts

Step 9. Remove the tire

Place the tire flat under the vehicle in case the jack fails, it could save you some serious injury. If the jack is placed on a solid, horizontal base, you should not have any problems.

The tire can be blocked by rust. Using a rubber mallet or hammer, tap the metal rim of the tire to release it

Step 10. Place the spare tire on the hub

Be sure to line up the holes in the wheel with the holes in the rotor. Screw a first job by making one or two turns, then place a second bolt. Your wheel is stable, put the other two bolts.

  • Make sure not to mount the wheel upside down. To be sure, check that the valve used to inflate the tire is oriented towards the outside of the vehicle and not towards the inside.
  • Be especially careful if your wheel is held by acorn nuts, as it is easy to reverse them.

Step 11. Tighten the bolts by hand until they lock

There is no effort to be made.

  • Using the wrench, tighten the nuts as much as possible. To get a well-mounted tire, you have to tighten a first bolt, then the opposite one, then another bolt and finally the opposite of it (we speak of cross-tightening). Then check that the first bolt is tight if not retighten it. Ditto for the other three.
  • At this point, there is no point in squeezing like crazy. Tighten them firmly with the key, the car should not be out of balance.

Step 12. Gently lower the car and tighten the bolts

To start, tighten the bolts while the car is not completely on the ground.

Step 13. Tighten permanently

Lower the car completely and tighten the bolts again to complete the operation. Then replace the hubcap

Change a Tire Step 14

Step 14. Put the old tire in your trunk and take it to a mechanic

Get an estimate of the cost of repairs. Small punctures can usually be repaired for less than $ 15. If the tire cannot be repaired, they will keep it for recycling and can offer and fit you a new tire.

WikiHow Video: How to Change a Car Tire

To concern


  • Check your tire pressure regularly.
  • If you have lock nuts, make sure you have the keys in your car. You will need it to undo the wheel.
  • Anticipate such an incident by taking care to read the part of the instruction manual concerning the tires. It will save you from having to do it by the side of the road, in the rain or in the dark.
  • Sometimes the wheels are stuck on the hub, which will not make it easier to remove. If this happens, take a hammer and a piece of wood (3 to 4 cm wide by about 20 long) and placing the latter flat on the seized wheel, evenly tap on the wood until the wheel is released.. If you rotate your wheels regularly, you will avoid this kind of inconvenience when you need to change a tire.
  • When reassembling the bolts, make sure you do not tighten them askew. So do not force, the bolts should screw easily. This will keep the wheels centered and the bolts in place.
  • When tightening and loosening the bolts, position the cross key so that you can fully press vertically. This will prevent you from injuring yourself if the key breaks or hurting your back. In addition, you will have more strength. Press down on the end of the wrench as well for the best leverage. You can even use your foot to tap, but make sure you keep your balance and hold onto the car.
  • Remember to swap your wheels as indicated by the manufacturer. In the event of a puncture, the tire will come off more easily.
  • By using a cross wrench, you will have more power and the assembly and disassembly of the wheel will be easier.


  • Pay attention to what is going on around you during the maneuver. If you are on a busy road, be particularly wary of vehicles driving on it that could brush against you. Every year, hundreds of people are killed when changing tires on the side of the road. Avoid this kind of place if possible.
  • For safety, always place a height (rubble, rafters) under the vehicle once lifted and before removing the tire. It should be close enough to the jack without getting in the way. So if the jack goes loose, the car remains stable and rests on this thickness.
  • Most spare wheels are not made for speeds over 70 km / h or for long distances. You could have an accident like a tire blowout. Thus, you will need to drive slowly and carefully to the nearest garage or tire center to have a suitable tire repaired and refitted quickly.

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