Changing a Tire

Don’t get caught stranded because you don’t know how to change a tire. Even if you never got the lessons from a family member, we’ve got a quick-guide on how to change a flat tire.

Be Prepared

Having comprehensive auto insurance coverage alone is not enough, it’s important to have the right tools on hand, even if you don’t have a flat tire, or expect to get one. The unpredictable situations are the best ones to be prepared for. Here’s what you want to keep in your vehicle:

  • Spare tire that is properly inflated
  • Your owner’s manual (flag common reference pages, including the spare tire and jack instructions, with a post it note or other book mark so you can find the information you need).
  • Tire sealant and inflator
  • Spray solvent to help loosen lug nuts
  • Car jack
  • Flashlight
  • Lug wrench
  • Reflective hazard triangle
  • Additional tools may be required depending on the make and model of your vehicle

Be Safe

If you get a blowout or find yourself with a flat on the road, pull to the side of the road at a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure you are visible to oncoming vehicles and that you are pulled off far enough to work on the side of the vehicle that has the flat tire without being in traffic. Read your owner's manual for instructions or call for help if you need assistance changing the tire.

Remove the Flat Tire

  • Jack up the car per the car jack’s manual instructions
  • Use the lug wrench to loosen and remove the lug nuts from the tire
  • Remove the tire from the car
  • Save the lug nuts for the spare tire

Put on the Spare Tire

  • Put the spare tire on the lug nut bolts and push until it cannot go any farther
  • Screw on the lug nuts tightly (until you cannot tighten any further)
  • Lower your vehicle back to the ground
  • Make sure the lug nuts are tightened by using the lug wrench to apply firm pressure
  • If you do not have a full-size spare tire, be sure not to exceed the recommended maximum distance or speed as described in your owner’s manual (typically the maximum speed recommended for a compact spare is 50 mph and should be driven no further than 70 miles)  

Don’t find yourself stranded with more issues than a flat tire with nowhere to turn. Direct Auto Insurance offers roadside assistance that can help when the unexpected happens on the road. You can visit Direct at one of our many locations, online at, or call us at 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732).

Helpful Resources