My oldest daughter reached driving age not to long ago and one of the requirements for her license was for her to successfully change a flat tire on her own. I gave her a quick visual of where the equipment and tire was and then wrote down instructions for her to follow. I figured that if she could follow these instructions successfully then she was ready to be alone out in the car. By the way she was able to change the flat tire and stuck these instructions in the glove compartment in case of a flat tire later.

The steps below are the instructions I wrote up for her.

First make sure that you put the car in park in a level as possible area and set the parking brake. Make sure you have pulled off the road far enough to avoid traffic and turn the engine off. And don’t forget to turn on the hazard lights (flashers).

Get out of the trunk the spare tire, the lug nut wrench and the car jack. I pointed these out to her before hand.

Before jacking up the car, loosen the lug nuts, which hold the wheel in place. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to loosen the lug nut. Loosen every other lug nut first, then go back and loosen the others.

Carefully jack up the car and reference the owner’s manual for the correct and safe place to put the jack. Just Jack the car up a inch or so higher in order to remove the old tire and to be able to have room to put the new, full of air tire back on.

Continue by removing all of the lug nuts and set them aside in a place where you won’t lose them. The flat tire should be able to slide right off now.

Lift and place the new tire onto the wheel studs. Make sure that the valve, where you add air, is facing out.

Replace all of the lug nuts and tighten them by hand. Then tighten them with the lug wrench the same way you loosened them. Finally, tighten each lug as tight as you can.

Put the hubcap back on or in the truck to be put on later.

Once she did this she felt a lot more confident and comfortable about how she would handle a flat tire. I told her that there may be a time that she did not feel safe getting out of the car and that she should put her flashers on and move to the shoulder and call someone, if no one was available to just drive on the bad tire until she reached somewhere safe.

Everyone should take the time to get familiar with where the spare tire is, how to get it out of the car, and at least change a tire for practice.