I think everyone should know how to change a tire. I know a lot of people count on some type of roadside assistance, like the kind offered from the dealership, to come if there is an issue. What if you have let your membership expire? What if you have no cell service where you get the flat? What if they can’t get there for 2 hours and you have somewhere to be? Whatever the reason, even if you always have the roadside assistance to count on, everyone should know the basics of changing a tire. It isn’t hard.
First, make sure the car is off to the side of the road, or better yet in a safe parking lot. You will want to be on flat ground and avoid hills.
Locate the jack and the tire iron or crossbar. This is basically a lug nut wrench. Most cars come with them already. Not all lug nuts are the same size, so before you take one from another car, make sure it fits your lug nuts. Some small car jacks, that come with the car, have an all in one type system. The bar that you use to raise the jack is also the wrench you use to remove the lug nuts.
Now you will want to start to use the jack to raise the car slightly, just enough so the car is supported but not raised. If there is a hub cap on the tire, pull it off to get to the lug nuts. Once the hub cap is removed, loosen the lug nuts.
After loosening the lug nuts, raise the car higher with the jack. This is when you will continue to loosen the lug nuts until you can remove them completely.
Take the old tire off and set it aside. Take your spare tire, or donut tire which is what most cars carry as the spare, and place it on the car. Put a lug nut on each stud and hand tighten them as much as you can. Work in a pattern, a little on this one, a little on that one.
Once the nuts are on the studs, lower the car to the ground but without putting all of the weight on the ground. Some weight should still be on the jack. The car should be resting on the jack but almost on the ground. Tighten the lug nuts all the way with the wrench.
Put the old tire back in the car along with your tools. Now your car is ready to drive again. Be sure to get the tire replaced soon if you are driving on the donut tire.