Person Jacking Their Car

Tools Needed to Change a Flat Tire

A flat tire is a common problem every driver encounters at some point. It is often caused by a puncture in your tire from a nail or piece of glass. To get back on the road safely, you will need to know how to change your tire.

[ READ MORE: How to Take Care of Your Car in Hot and Humid Weather ]

Items You Need to Change Your Flat

The car jack, owner’s manual, tire iron, wedges, and a spare tire are the required items you need when changing your tire.

It is also a good idea to keep a flashlight, rubber gloves, wedges, and a poncho in your car if you were to change the tire in the dark or in the rain. These items are recommended to have in the car but not required.

Stacks of Car TiresStep by Step Guide to Change a Flat Tire

Park in a Safe Location

Make sure you are parked on even ground away from traffic so you can safely jack the car up. Turn on your hazard lights so traffic nearby can see you. Put your emergency brake on as a precaution. Insert the wedges behind the front and rear of the wheel that is diagonally opposite of the flat. For example, if your front tire on the passenger side is flat, insert the wedges at the rear driver side tire.

Loosen the Nuts and Jack the Car

Next, loosen the nuts on the tire in a star shaped pattern but do not fully remove them. Use your owner’s manual to find the location of where to place the jack close to the tire. After you find this, jack the car up so the tire is off the ground.

Replace the Tire

Once the tire is in the air, you can remove the nuts you loosened and remove the tire. Put the spare tire on the lug bolts and tighten the lug nuts by hand in a clockwise turn as much as possible. Jiggle the tire to verify that the tire is on the bolts correctly.

Lower the Car and Tighten the Nuts

After checking the tire is stable, lower the car back to the ground and remove the jack. Use the tire iron to tighten the nuts in a star shaped pattern as before. Once they are as tight  as possible, you are ready to go back on the road. Don’t forget to take your wedges back!


If you are not comfortable changing your tire yourself, contact roadside assistance to come and help you. If you need maintenance, schedule an appointment at our service center.