How to Change a Tire

Row of tires

All four tires need to operate fully to move your car, truck, or SUV forward properly while helping your vehicle stop and accelerate correctly. Learning how to change a tire is a vital task you need to know about as part of owning and driving your new vehicle in and around Portland.

Discover everything you need to know on how to change a tire thanks to our handy guide from the team at Dick Hannah RAM.



How to Change a Tire Step-by-Step

You’ll need a few tools to change a tire, including a jack, lug wrench, spare tire or new tire(s), and your owner’s manual.

  1. Do not drive on a flat tire. You could damage your vehicle’s wheel or axle, both of which are expensive repairs.
  2. If you’re on the side of the road near Hillsboro or Beaverton, move to a safe place as soon as you are able.
  3. Turn on your hazard lights.
  4. Apply the parking brake.
  5. Get out of your vehicle carefully if you’re on the side of a busy road or highway.
  6. Place wheel wedges, if you have them, under the other tires.
  7. Remove the wheel cover or hubcap from the flat tire.
  8. Loosen the lug nuts. Your owner’s manual will tell you in what order to loosen the lug nuts.
  9. Use the jack to raise your vehicle. You’ll need to place the jack in the right position, which you’ll see in your owner’s manual.
  10. Remove the lug nuts fully. Set them aside in a safe place where they won’t get lost, like in the driver’s seat or next to you on the ground.
  11. Remove the flat tire. It will be heavy! Set the tire aside on the ground.
  12. Mount the new or spare tire. Make sure the lug nut stems align properly.
  13. Tighten the lug nuts, also in the prescribed order, as shown in your owner’s manual.
  14. Lower your vehicle back to the ground. Put the jack back in your trunk or cargo area.
  15. Put the flat tire in your trunk or cargo area.
  16. Drive to your chosen tire center to get a new tire installed!

How Often to Change Car Tires

In general, tires are rated to last around 50,000 miles. However, changing or replacing car tires depends on a few factors, like driving habits and driving conditions. If you rotate tires every 7,500 miles, your tires will last longer, and they won’t wear out as quickly.

How Often to Check Tire Pressure

We recommend checking your tire pressure at least once a week, such as when you get gas. Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will tell you if any of your tires have the wrong air pressure in them.

Check the tire tread once a month. Look for uneven wear or tread that’s disappearing.

How to Put Air in Your Tires

Here’s how to put air in your tires using an air compressor.

  1. Park your vehicle by the air compressor. Make sure the hose can reach each tire.
  2. Remove the cap on the tire valve of the first tire.
  3. Put the air valve cover in your pocket.
  4. Check the air pressure in the tire by using your tire gauge. It’s helpful to do this at home. Warm tires can provide a false reading.
  5. Use the air hose to add small amounts of air in short bursts while checking the tire gauge each time.
  6. Inflate the tire to the correct air pressure as stated in your owner’s manual.
  7. Move to the next tire.

The tire pressure gauge will indicate what the air pressure is. Your owner’s manual will tell you what the ideal air pressure is for your tires.

How Many Miles Can You Go on a Spare Tire?

Spare tires are not made for driving on for very long, usually around 50 miles. Never drive on a spare tire at high speeds, and always drive less than 50 mph when you have a spare tire installed. Get a new regular tire ASAP.

Buy New Tires With Us in Vancouver

If you don’t feel comfortable changing tires yourself or you’re not sure what kind of new tires to purchase, we’re happy to help. Contact us or call 360-944-3277.


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