How to change a flat tire
Loosen the lug nuts. Using your lug wrench from your roadside emergency kit, break loose the lug nuts from the studs, but don’t remove them completely just yet. If you have a hubcap, you may have to remove it first in order to access the lug nuts.
Whenever you’re breaking lug nuts loose, or tightening them back into place, it is important to do so in a star-shaped pattern, or move from one lug nut to the opposite rather than going in a sequential circle. There are a number of reasons for this, but primarily it helps ensure that the nuts are tightened evenly and that the wheel is seated properly.
Jack up the car. Now that the lug nuts are loose, you’ll want to jack the car up into position before removing the wheel. Most jacks are stored in the trunk near the spare tire, but this is certainly not always the case. Your owner’s manual should tell you where you can find it.
It’s important to remember that there specific places the jack must be positioned beneath your car. If you apply the force of the jack to a spot that can’t support it, you could damage your car. Again, your owner’s manual should help you identify these spots.
Before jacking up the car, make sure to engage the parking brake or chock the other wheels to prevent it from rolling as you do so. It’s also a good idea to try and find a level place to perform your tire change. Slide the jack into position and raise the car until the tire is just barely off of the ground.
Remove the wheel. With the car raised, finish removing the lug nuts and place them in the hubcap to prevent them from rolling away or otherwise getting lost. You can now remove the wheel from the lug studs by placing your hands on either side and pulling it towards you.
You should always wear gloves when removing a tire as there are often sharp bits in and around the tire, especially if it is flat or damaged.
Mount the spare tire. You can now attach the spare tire. Use the valve stem as a guide to make sure it’s facing the proper direction; the valve stem should always be facing out and away from the vehicle.
After mounting the spare onto the lug studs, carefully replace the lug nuts by hand at first to ensure that you don’t cross thread them. Then, tighten them partially with your wrench, but don’t apply too much force as you could knock the car off of the jack – wait until the vehicle is on the ground to finish tightening. Lower the vehicle, allowing the weight to press down on the tire, and finish tightening the lug nuts with your wrench.