How to Put on a Spare Tire

How to Put on a Spare Tire: (Effortless Step-by-Step Guide)

Well, I recall that day when I was cruising down the highway, and suddenly, my ride began to wobble like a jelly on a plate! Of course, it was a flat tire – the bane of any car owner’s existence. But hey, don’t you fret, my friend. I’ve been through that tiresome ordeal and came out the other side, all geared up with a solution that will surely save your day! I found that putting on a spare tire isn’t as daunting as it may seem. It’s actually a nifty trick to have up your sleeve and, believe me, it’s far more reliable than any quick fix out there.

So, how about we take this journey together, you and I? In the following article, we’ll delve into my own first-hand experience, the causes behind those pesky flat tires, and the art of securing a spare tire to get you back on the road. Let’s buckle up!

Understanding the Basics of Spare Tires

Firstly, a spare tire is not just an extra wheel, but a lifesaver in emergencies. If you ever experience a flat tire while driving, it’s your spare tire that will get you back on the road. Whether it’s a donut spare or a full-size one, a well-inflated and good quality spare tire can safely get you to a repair shop or home in most cases. And, in my opinion, it’s cost-effective insurance against getting stranded.

But remember, not all spare tires are the same. For example, donut spares are less durable than full-size ones and are only meant for short distances at slower speeds. So, it’s crucial to know which type you have and how to use it.

Tools Needed for Changing a Tire

Changing a tire is not as daunting as it seems when you have the right tools on hand. These include a jack, a lug wrench, and, of course, the spare tire. From my experience, having additional tools can make the process even easier. These might include a wheel cover remover, a rubber mallet, a lug wrench extension bar, locking wheel-nut adapter, wheel chocks, and an early warning device. Having these tools at your disposal can make the tire-changing process much smoother and faster.

Where to Find the Spare Tire and Tools in Your Vehicle

Knowing where to find your spare tire and tools is vital. Typically, these are stored in the trunk or under the vehicle’s floor. In some vehicles, especially SUVs and pickup trucks, the spare tire could be mounted on the exterior, such as on the bumper or under the bed.

Preparing for the Tire Change

Finding a Safe Location to Change Your Tire

Safety comes first when dealing with a flat tire. Once you notice any signs of a flat – unusual vibration, thumping sounds, or an active tire pressure warning light – pull off the road as soon as you can. Find a location that’s flat and stable, away from traffic. This will give you enough space to work without putting yourself or other road users at risk.

Applying the Parking Brake and Hazard Lights

Before you start the tire-changing process, ensure your car is stable to prevent it from rolling. Apply the parking brake, and don’t forget to turn on your hazard lights to signal to other drivers.

Removing the Spare Tire from Your Vehicle

Now that your car is stable, it’s time to get your spare tire out. Depending on where it’s stored, you might need to lift the trunk floor, unlock a holder, or lower it from beneath the vehicle. Be sure to also gather all the necessary tools at this point.

Preparing Your Tire Changing Tools

Once you have your tools and spare tire ready, lay them out in an organized manner. This way, everything you need will be within reach, making the tire-changing process much smoother.

Removing the Flat Tire

Loosening the Lug Nuts on the Flat Tire

In my experience, it’s easier to loosen the lug nuts before jacking up the vehicle. Use your lug wrench to turn each lug nut counterclockwise. You don’t need to remove them entirely at this point–just enough to make them easy to turn by hand later.

Positioning the Jack Under the Vehicle

Look for the jack points under your vehicle. These are usually found along the sides near the wheels or in the undercarriage. Once you find it, place your jack underneath and ensure it’s aligned correctly.

Lifting the Vehicle with the Jack

Slowly pump or twist your jack to raise the vehicle. Ensure it’s high enough to easily remove the flat tire and install the spare. Always remember to keep your body parts clear of the underside of the vehicle for safety.

Fully Removing the Lug Nuts and Flat Tire

With the vehicle raised, it’s time to fully unscrew the lug nuts. Once they’re off, gently pull the flat tire straight towards you to remove it.

Installing the Spare Tire

Positioning the Spare Tire on the Hub

Position your spare tire on the hub. Align the rim with the lug bolts and push the spare all the way in.

Which Side of Tire Faces Out?

This might sound basic, but it’s essential to know which side of the tire should face out. Most tires have the side with more details, including the brand name and specifications, facing outwards.

Hand-Tightening the Lug Nuts on the Spare Tire

Once the spare tire is on, replace the lug nuts. At first, you can hand-screw them on as tightly as possible.

Lowering the Vehicle and Tightening the Lug Nuts

Lower your vehicle back to the ground using the jack. Once it’s stable, further tighten the lug nuts using your wrench.

Post Tire Change Actions

Where to Put the Flat Tire in Your Vehicle

Now that the spare tire is on, don’t forget about your flat tire. Most people put it in the trunk or backseat, especially if they have a full-size spare.

How Long You Can Drive on a Spare Tire

Driving on a spare tire isn’t meant to be a long-term solution. The duration can vary depending on the type of spare tire you have.

Finding a Tire Shop Near You for Tire Replacement

Drive to the nearest tire repair shop to get your flat tire fixed or replaced. Driving on a spare tire for extended periods can be hazardous.


Which Way Do You Put on a Spare Tire?

The side with more information, like the brand name and specifications, typically faces outwards.

How Long Does It Take to Put a Spare Tire on?

The process can take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how familiar you are with the steps and if you have all the necessary tools.

How to Change a Tire with a Jack by Hand?

Follow the steps outlined above. It might require some physical exertion, but it’s definitely doable.

How Much Does Spare Tire Installation Cost?

If you do it yourself, it’s free! Otherwise, a mechanic might charge for their labor time.

How to Change a Tire on a Rim?

You’ll need specialized tools and knowledge for this. It’s best to let a mechanic handle it.

I hope this guide has been helpful and has given you a comprehensive understanding of the tire changing process. Stay safe on the road!