HOW TO: Change a Tire

Welcome to the next installment in our β€œHow To” series. Make sure to visit the β€œHow To: A Helpful Series” page for previous lessons. Today my sweet and patient husband teaches me another valuable skill that is important to know for emergencies:

I have been fortunate enough to never experience a flat tire while out on the road. However, I did recently run out of gas and was stranded for about 45 minutes in a hot car with 3 grumpy kids while we waited for help. This experience made me think about what I would do in a more serious car emergency. I asked my husband to help teach me (and YOU) how to change a tire so that we can help ourselves in case we get a flat tire and aren’t in a situation where we can easily get help.

Make sure to watch the last minute of the video where I embarrass myself demonstrating my ineptness at “handyman” stuff. It’s kinda funny πŸ˜‰
 

Sorry for the poor lighting near the end. It was getting dark and it took longer than expected because we were learning how things worked for our particular vehicle. Here are some tips for you to make it faster and easier for you should a situation arise where you need to change a tire:

  • Know where your donut is located and how to access it
  • Know where the tools (jack, wrench, etc.) are located in your vehicle
  • Make sure you have all the tools needed to change the tire (it’s possible they have been removed if you didn’t buy your car new)
  • Test your ability to lift the tires you are working with
  • Ensure that using your tools, you are strong enough to remove the bolts

*HINT* If you are signed up for the Seven Day Challenge you will probably want to take special note of this video. Just sayin’ …


  • Funstuff4paula

    When I was a teenager my dad made me change all four tires on our car so I know how to do it – then about once every 3 months we did it over and over. I know how to change a tire – long story short – I married a guy that owns a tire store and I have never had to do it again!

  • Dusty Edwards

    Loved this !! You made me laugh and I learned a lot! Thanks πŸ˜‰

  • Dusty Edwards

    Loved this !! You made me laugh and I learned a lot! Thanks πŸ˜‰

  • Jane

    I have changed many a tire in the past but we have had my van for almost 1yr and half and never even occurred to me to see if I could change the tire on it. So I went out to check it out and guess what I found? NO DONUT AT ALL!!!! So I just found out that I can get a replacement for it with a full size tire. I will be getting it in about two hours. So once again Jodi you have seen something I needed to correct. Thank your dear sweet husband for me. I am typing up the instructions to put with the tools, Oh yeah did I mention I now have to replace the tools to. They were missing also. Well My husband will be delighted that I took action to keep our family safe. Thanks again.

  • Useful for all, Thanks for this. great info!

  • If this is an indicator of what the seven day challenge will be like, I am in for a real education.

  • Wendi

    how scary to have to change a tire!! Good rule of thumb to learn how to do it and try it out before it is an emergency situation!! I loved your video,thanks so much for taking the scary out of it for me.

  • Wendi

    how scary to have to change a tire!! Good rule of thumb to learn how to do it and try it out before it is an emergency situation!! I loved your video,thanks so much for taking the scary out of it for me.

  • Great idea to add this as a video. I have met a lot of people who don’t know how to properly change a tire. I always like vids! πŸ™‚

  • Great idea to add this as a video. I have met a lot of people who don’t know how to properly change a tire. I always like vids! πŸ™‚

  • sharron

    Great idea to make this one of your videos. My dad was a trucker and I had to change several tires, before I was allowed to drive by myself. He had seen so many women stranded helplessly next to the road because they couldn’t change a tire. Later I thanked him when I was able to change a tire in 11 minutes in a blizzard!

    I agree with the torque comment. I just had a tire replaced, at the tire sotre because I couldn’t get the lug nuts loose, for the second time. The man at the shop didn’t want to loosen them for me so I could change my own tire next time. He finally checked and realized that they were torquing them to 120 psi, not 80 psi as recommended by the safety regulations. The shop even had problems getting them off.

    Lesson learned, check and see if you can loosen them before you go out driving the next time !

    Gorilla Bar —- The shop ordered me a gorilla bar that telescopes longer so that I can break them loose more easily.

  • sharron

    Great idea to make this one of your videos. My dad was a trucker and I had to change several tires, before I was allowed to drive by myself. He had seen so many women stranded helplessly next to the road because they couldn’t change a tire. Later I thanked him when I was able to change a tire in 11 minutes in a blizzard!

    I agree with the torque comment. I just had a tire replaced, at the tire sotre because I couldn’t get the lug nuts loose, for the second time. The man at the shop didn’t want to loosen them for me so I could change my own tire next time. He finally checked and realized that they were torquing them to 120 psi, not 80 psi as recommended by the safety regulations. The shop even had problems getting them off.

    Lesson learned, check and see if you can loosen them before you go out driving the next time !

    Gorilla Bar —- The shop ordered me a gorilla bar that telescopes longer so that I can break them loose more easily.

  • I have changed many tires in my car..but I learned from the video loosening the lug nuts first makes it easier. Will check out the new to me 15 passenger van today and make sure I am prepared, Thanks this was wonderful!

  • I have changed many tires in my car..but I learned from the video loosening the lug nuts first makes it easier. Will check out the new to me 15 passenger van today and make sure I am prepared, Thanks this was wonderful!

  • Kimberly

    This past June on our home to PA from FL, we got a flat tire in Georgia. Our van had the exact same donut/tools as your van is showing. As my husband was trying to loosen the lug nuts, that lug nut wrench piece actually broke apart! Not at the joints, but the “cup” that literally goes over the nut, split and broke in to pieces. We had no wrench to remove the tire!
    After 45 minutes, we were able to flag someone down on Rt 95 N. who had a “real” tire wrench, and we were on our way.
    I STRONGLY recommend purchasing a heavy, duty tire wrench to keep in your vehicle and not rely on the one that comes with it.

  • Kimberly

    This past June on our home to PA from FL, we got a flat tire in Georgia. Our van had the exact same donut/tools as your van is showing. As my husband was trying to loosen the lug nuts, that lug nut wrench piece actually broke apart! Not at the joints, but the “cup” that literally goes over the nut, split and broke in to pieces. We had no wrench to remove the tire!
    After 45 minutes, we were able to flag someone down on Rt 95 N. who had a “real” tire wrench, and we were on our way.
    I STRONGLY recommend purchasing a heavy, duty tire wrench to keep in your vehicle and not rely on the one that comes with it.

  • One thing to remember is to ask your tire dealer not to over-torque the lugs. As for me, I’ll never be able to get them off my pickup b/c of that. Also, since spares are stored under the vehicle on pickups, check beforehand to make sure you can even loosen the bolts on the frame holding the spare in place. πŸ™‚

  • One thing to remember is to ask your tire dealer not to over-torque the lugs. As for me, I’ll never be able to get them off my pickup b/c of that. Also, since spares are stored under the vehicle on pickups, check beforehand to make sure you can even loosen the bolts on the frame holding the spare in place. πŸ™‚