How To Change A Flat Tire
Use our step-by-step guide if the need for a tire change arises:
- Park the Vehicle. It’s important to make sure that your vehicle is parked both away from traffic and on a flat surface. TIP: You will want to use your hazard lights, or flares if there is heavy traffic.
- Brace the Tires. Place bracing material (such as pieces of wood or bricks) behind and in front of a tire that will not be lifted by the jack in order to prevent rolling and increase stability.
- Identify Spare Tire and Jack. Next, you can use your vehicle's owner manual to locate your spare tire and jack.
- Position the Jack. Now use your owner's manual to make sure that the jack is in the necessary position on your car in order to prevent damage.
- Jack Up the Car. Begin to jack the car up while keeping pressure on the ground (without lifting the car up entirely).
- Remove Hubcaps. Remove any hubcaps or center covers so that you can access the lug nuts.
- Loosen Lug Nuts. Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise to loosen them.
- Remove the Tire. Next, after making sure that the jack is stable, jack up the car enough so that you are able to slip the tire off with ease.
- Attach the Spare Tire. Put the spare tire on the wheel and place the lug nuts in the correct positions.
- Tighten the Lug Nuts. Tighten the lug nuts with your tire wrench, this time turning clockwise. TIP: Make sure the lug nuts are tight, but don't use too much force. This may knock your car off of the jack.
- Check the Lug Nuts After Driving. After driving a few miles it's a good idea to stop and make sure that the lug nuts are still tight.
Tire Changing Tools
When it comes time to change a tire, you'll be glad to have this flat tire kit on hand:
- Your vehicle's owner's manual
- An inflated spare tire
- A jack
- A lug wrench
- Bracing material, such as a small piece of wood or a brick
Why Is It Important to Get Your Tire Repaired?
If you're driving on a tire that continuously loses air or has a puncture, it is very important to your safety to have it inspected immediately. A service professional should inspect the inside and out to determine whether tire repair is possible or if it needs to be replaced. Flat tire repair services may help to:
- Properly repair punctures in the tread
- Prevent further tire damage
- Maintain tire air pressure at manufacturer recommended levels
There are, of course, situations where tire repair is not the right answer. You should replace your tire, instead of attempting to repair it, if you are dealing with any of the following situations:
- If you notice a bulge or a blister on the sidewall of a tire, you should replace that tire immediately. These are signs that lead to tire failure and could be dangerous.
- If a tire has gone flat due to a blow out, that tire should be immediately replaced.
- If a tire has suffered from lacerations or other significant damage, you should replace a tire immediately rather than attempting to fix a flat tire.
How to Find the Hole in a Tire
Are you noticing a continuous loss in tire air pressure? Before you can attempt to fix a flat tire, you'll need to find the source of the leak.
- Examine the Tire for the Source of the Leak. First, check to see if you find a screw, nail or other kinds of debris sticking out of the tire. If not, finding the source of the leak can be a little bit difficult - but we have a trick that will help make this easy.
- Use Leak Detection Liquid. Fill a squirt bottle with a vegetable base soap and water solution or tire manufacturer approved leak detector liquid.
- Inflate and Spray the Tire. Inflate the tire and then spray the entire tire with your bottle full of cleaner.
- Identify the Puncture. As the cleaner runs down the tread of the tire you should notice a small volcano-like eruption of bubbles right where your puncture lies.
Now that you've found the hole in your tire, we recommend having a qualified tire professional inspect the tire and make a proper plug and patch repair if allowable by industry standards. The technicians at a Tire & Service Network location near you will be able to assist you with this.