How to Change a Tire Like a Pro

No matter who you are, it’s a good idea to know how to change a tire.

It really should be taught in life-skills classes.

Of course, the ideal situation is to have a pro do the job for you, but sometimes that’s just not possible.

If you find yourself in a pinch and feel that you can safely do the job yourself, here’s what you need to know.

Find a flat spot.
Only attempt to change your tire on level ground.

Your car should be turned off, it should be in park, and the emergency brake should be set.

When your vehicle is secured, get the tools you’ll need from the trunk. Your car should already be equipped with a jack and a tire iron.

Loosen the lug nuts.
Notice, you’re just loosening the lug nuts at this point – you’re not removing them.

You’ll do this by using your tire iron or a lug wrench.

You’ve heard “Right-y, tight-y, left-y, loose-y”? You’ll want to remember that here!

Jack up the car.
Use your owner’s manual to find the right spot to place the jack.

If you expand the jack as much as you can by hand until it’s as tall as it can be and still fit under the car, you’ll save yourself some trouble.

 The next step is to insert the jack handle and start cranking!

Go slowly and soon your car will begin to lift off the ground so that you’re able to switch out the flat tire.

A word of caution – make sure everyone else is away from the vehicle when it’s jacked up! Cars do fall off jacks!

Remove the bad tire.
Now you can take the lug nuts off!

Put them safely in your pocket or another secure location, take the tire off and lay it down flat.

You don’t want to put it in the car just yet because it’s still jacked up, remember?

Put the spare tire on.
Line up the holes in the tire with the lugs and slide the spare on.

Put the lug nuts on and turn them a time or two, but don’t tighten them yet.

First, lower the car back down until it’s firmly on the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts.
At this point, you can tighten the lug nuts. The order doesn’t matter for this step, but it will in the next one when you really tighten them.

You’re going to secure the lug nuts in a sort of star pattern.

Choose one to start with and secure it using the same level of force that you used to loosen it. The next nut you go to will be one that is nearly diagonal.

Continue in this pattern until all are as tight as you can get them. Then go around one more time because they need to be TIGHT!

You did it!
Now you know how to change a tire safely!

Hopefully, you won’t ever have to use your new skill, but if you’re ever in a pinch, you’ll know exactly what to do.

When it’s time for an upgrade to your vehicle, come and see us at Park Mazda!
Categories: Service, People