- First, get to the safest area possible. Try not to drive on the rim if you can, because replacing that can get expensive. But if you have to, do what you need to do.
- Call AAA.
- Call someone to let them know where you are.
If AAA is going to take a long time, or if you dont have cell service:
- Make sure the parking brake is engaged.
- If you have gloves available put them on. If you have a different outfit, you might want to change- changing a tire can get dirty.
- Find the jack, the tire iron (might be in two pieces, you have to put it together) and the spare tire. You should know where this is in any car you’re driving.
- Look at the tire that’s flat. Using the tire iron, loosen the nuts on the tire. Don’t take em off much, just loosen them enough so when the tire is in the air you won’t have a problem taking them off.
- Go put the jack under the car where the owner’s manual says to. Chances are it’s on the frame of the car near where you need to change the tire.
- Using the tire iron on the jack, jack up the car. You’ll be tempted to stop as soon as the tire clears the ground, but keep in mind you have to fit a fully inflated tire (or “dougnut”) there – so continue until you think you can fit one in.
- Now, take off the lug nuts on the tire. For your sanity, take off the lug nuts from opposite sides – once you take them off, the tire will probably start sliding – and you dont want it to slide off uncontrolled.
- After taking the final lug nut off, take care to hold the tire. Take the tire off. This is where your shirt will get mussed.
- Put the spare tire on. Chances are it’ll be a “dougnut” – a smaller sized tire not meant for long term use. (Although remind me to tell you the story of when you were toddlers and we all got stuck with a damaged rim on a Sunday and had to drive 400 miles to your grandparents house on one. But not until you’re much older and realize that there are certain things I tell you to do that I didn’t …)
- Put the lugnuts back on. Hand tighten them.
- Lower the jack.
- Tighten the lug nuts now on the tire.
- Put your stuff away.
- Drive home.
- Repair or replace the tire as soon as you can.
This is all kinda moot, because chances are you’ll just google “How to Change A Tire”. But at least now you know. 🙂