The first thing to do when you realize you have a flat tire is to get to safety.
Guide your car off the roadway and park your car as far away from traffic as you can.
Turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers know that your vehicle is disabled.
Locate your vehicle's parking brake and activate it to prevent your car from rolling while you're changing the tire.
Once you're sure it's safe for you to exit your vehicle, get out of the car, and find the damaged tire.
After you've determined which tire has a flat, the next thing to do is to locate your tire-changing tools and complete the repair.
Use the instructions in your owner's manual to change your tire. Most vehicles come with an owner's manual and a tire-changing kit that includes the following tools.
- Spare Tire
- Tire Jack
- Lug Wrench
- Apply wheel wedges or similar support to keep the vehicle from rolling backward or forward during the tire changing process.
- Remove any wheel coverings or hub caps in order to expose the lug nuts on your tire.
- Loosen the lug nuts on the affected tire by turning the jack in a counterclockwise motion and applying pressure until you feel the lug nuts turn.
- Locate the spot on your vehicle frame that is suitable for jack placement. Newer vehicles have a designated area on the frame near the tires to place the jack.
- Use the jack to raise the vehicle until the flat tire is about six inches off the ground.
- Remove the loosened lug nuts and prepare to remove the damaged tire.
- Take your time and gently pull the tire toward you until it's completely free. Place the tire aside.
- Place the spare tire on the lug bolts and slide the tire toward the vehicle until it's snug and you can fully see the bolts through the tire rim.
- Next, replace the lug nuts and tighten them by hand. Don't worry about the lug nuts being loose, you'll secure the lug nuts to the vehicle in a later step.
- Now that you've replaced the damaged tire, it's' time to lower the vehicle back to the ground and tighten the lug nuts by turning them counterclockwise.
- It's important to use the full weight of your body to tighten the lug nuts as much as possible.
- After you've tightened the lug nuts as much as possible, lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the jack. Check the lug nuts one last time to make sure they are fully secure.
- Put the damaged tire in the car and return all of your tools and equipment to their correct locations.