Step 1: Position the Jack
All it takes to change a tyre are a lug wrench, a spare tyre, and a jack. Put the jack underneath the vehicle just behind the wheel (for a blown front tyre) or just in front of it (for a blown rear tyre). Make sure the jack will come into contact with metal rather than plastic, then jack it up so it fits snugly underneath the car.
Step 2: Prepare the tyre for Removal
Now that the jack is in place, use the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts until they can turn easily. On some vehicles, changing a tyre first requires removal of the hubcaps, but the process varies depending on the make and model.
Once the lug nuts are loose, you can go ahead and jack up the tyre. You will want significant ground clearance, so raise it six to eight inches, so it provides enough room to fit the spare tyre on the car. It is always best to err on the side of caution when changing a tyre. When the jack is fully extended, you can loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way and set them aside.
Step 3: Replace the tyre
Some cars are more temperamental than others when you’re changing a tyre, but try not to see-saw when removing it. It’s easiest if you embrace it in the same position you’d assume to give someone a hug, with both hands on either side of the tyre. Then pull toward your chest, getting into a crouch if necessary.
Set the flat tyre aside and grab the spare. Now you’ll repeat the process in reverse, holding the spare just as you did the original tyre. Line it up with the bolts on the vehicle, taking care not to tilt the tyre in any one direction. Push it forward until you meet with too much resistance to push any farther.
Step 4: Replace the Lug Nuts
Once the spare tyre is on the vehicle and snug, you can put the lug nuts back on and screw them in with the lug wrench. The goal here is not to tighten them all the way, but to thread them enough that they don’t fall off. Then you can lower the jack all the way and remove it.
Now you can tighten the lug nuts all the way, addressing them in diagonal pairs. In other words, you don’t want to work clockwise or counter-clockwise around the car, but start with one, then work on its opposite partner, then the third, and finally the one after that. Make sure they are nice and snug.
Step 5: Clean Up
Once you’ve changed the tyre, you’ll need to put the original tyre away. You can put it in the same place where your spare was kept, or you can put it in the trunk of your car or in the bed of your truck.
Make sure to put your tools in a safe location, as well, so you’ll know where to find them the next time you need to change a car.