Navigating A Flat Tire via Your Car Manual (12 Simple Steps)

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So, you’re broken down on the side of the road with a flat tire.

Your cell phone service is lagging, and you’ve finally gotten a friend on the line long enough to call in some rescue troops. 

They’re about two hours out.

But wait. What’s this book in the glovebox?

A car manual, text, words on a page. 

Maybe in a world with no internet, you can fix your car with this golden key which tells you everything and anything about your vehicle. 

Wow- what a find.

The Importance of Your Car Manual 

Your car manual can navigate you through every part of your vehicle. If you don’t have it on hand, don’t even worry. You can find just about any vehicle owners manual online at

Luckily, this manual lets you know that there’s a spare tire located in your trunk, you just have to grab your kayak and camping gear out and whatever else you’ve got stored in the back there and lift the secret lever where that extra tire resides.

Oh look, there’s also a jack and wrench!

You’re probably wondering, “How am I supposed to change this tire?”

So you go back to your trusted car manual and notice that it has step by step instructions with photos on how to change the tire. 

How to Change a Flat Tire

It’s all in the manual, like a post on Pinterest teaching you how to build a sweet DIY couch out of recycled wooden pallets.

Except this is a car-mergency.

And it is so helpful. You’ll need to check and see if your vehicle has the following tools to get going:

  • A Jack
  • A Lug wrench
  • A Fully inflated spare tire
  • Your Vehicle owner’s manual

There are even pictures in your manual to go with each of these 15 steps:

Step 1: Are you in a safe place?

Ensure you are far enough on the shoulder of the road, or off the road and

Step 2: Turn on those Hazards

Don’t want to surprise anyone, and this could flag a random down to help you out.

Step 3: Put on the parking brake to stay safe

The last thing you want is the car to roll in the wrong direction, or off of the lift and slam down onto the ground – that’ll cause more issues than anyone would wish for.

Step 4: Apply wheel wedges for extra safety

There’s never anything wrong with putting extra safety checks in place. Wheel wedges are great for this – and if your car doesn’t come with them, you could always grab a spare set from Amazon.

Step 5: Remove the hubcap

Use the flat end of your lug wrench or a flathead screwdriver for this one. Keep in mind that some wheels have special keys to remove them, which can usually be found in your trunk. Now, it’s time to pop that centerpiece off so that you can access the other nuts and bolts to begin removing the tires.

Step 6: Loosen the lug nuts

We’re almost there! Here’s the second phase of actually getting that flat tire off of your car. Don’t be afraid to put all your weight into this one. If the tire was installed properly, it should be pretty tough to get the first few turns in loosening the lug nuts.

Step 7: Placement of the vehicle jack

Position the jack safely under your vehicle. Make sure you are following your vehicles guide on exactly where under the car it should be placed. The jack you see pictured here usually doesn’t come with any vehicle, but it’s something you can purchase that’s handy to have, and easier to use than the lift that comes with your vehicle.

You then want to raise the vehicle with the jack. You may only want to lift it just a little bit at first so that it’s easy to unscrew the lugnuts,

Step 8: Unscrew the Lugnuts.

Once you’ve gotten the lug nuts loosened up, you may want to raise the jack a bit more to completely raise the flat tire off of the ground. Now it’s time to take those lug nuts off. As you do so, you’ll notice how the tire easily lifts off of the bolts once the lug nuts are removed.

Step 9: Replace the Tire

Mount that spare tire on, and screw in the lug nuts nice and tight. Don’t be afraid to put all your weight into tightening the lug nuts as this will ensure the tire doesn’t fall off while you’re driving.

Step 11: Lower the vehicle slowly

Once the vehicle is lowered to the ground, double check the tightness on those lug nuts. And then triple check. This is extremely important.

Step 12: Clean up

  • Completely remove the jack from underneath your car and place it back into your trunk.
  • Double check the area around your vehicle to ensure you didn’t forget any nuts, bolts or tools of any sort.
  • Replace the hubcap and stow all your equipment. 
  • Buckle up and slowly (most spare tires recommend not driving over 55mph) head on over to a mechanic, get a real tire, and thank your manual!

Drive Safely

Congrats! Who knew changing a tire was easier than dissecting a frog in 8th-grade science class!?

What a useful book to keep by your side. 

Don’t panic if you have a flat tire, read your manual, there is a way to get back on the road and into safety again. Your manual is your best friend. 

But if you are having trouble changing your flat tire, you can always count on Geyers Towing to pull up, help you with roadside assistance and/or tow you to safety!

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