How Do You Change a Tire?

This video features Chuck Heron from Mr. Tire (home of On The Rim & Out The Door and BRAKES FOREVER); his assistant is automotive expert Gary Goldstein. They’re here to show viewers how to properly change a tire.


To begin, make sure that you have all the proper tools to change your tire and put on your spare. These tools include safety glasses (something most people forget: don’t be one of them!), a jack, a tire iron (also known as a lug wrench), a wheel chock, and a spare tire. Here’s something to think about ahead of time: make sure that you periodically check and make sure that you have a working spare tire!


The process: make sure that your vehicle is in park with the emergency brake on. You also should use the wheel chock to keep the wheel from moving back and forth. Then you’ll loosen the lug nuts, take the tire off, and replace it.

Getting it done

So once the car is staged on a flat unobstructed surface, you want to loosen the lug nuts. Remember that tightening going to the right, and loosening goes to the left (lefty loosey, righty tighty). You want to press down on the lug nuts as you’re trying to turn them. You want to loosen them slightly while the car is still down so the wheel won’t turn while you’re trying to take the tire off.

Now raise the vehicle up, using the jack. At this point you can loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way and ease them off. Put them someplace safe: you’ll be needing them again! You don’t have to take them off in any particular order. And now you can take the wheel off.

If you can do so, roll the tire. Why? Because it’s heavy! A standard tire with a steel wheel weights about 40 pounds! At this point you can take the spare tire from the trunk of the back of the vehicle and lift it and put it in place of the damaged tire. Make sure that it’s fitting snugly against the wheel. At this point, bring out the lug nuts (you do remember where you put them, right?) and start tightening them (to the right). You won’t get them tightened all the way, you just want enough to keep the wheel and tire on when you lower the jack.

When you removed the lug nuts, it didn’t matter what order you did it in. But now the order does matter. What you want to do a star pattern. Now you can lower the vehicle, making sure that no part of your body (or anyone else’s) is under the car; safety first! Bring the vehicle down slowly and gently. Now it’s time to tighten the lug nuts all the way, still using a star pattern so that it fits snugly. You need to make sure that it’s as tight as you can get it. At this point you can remove the jack, the wheel chocks, and the damaged tire and put them all back in the car’s trunk.