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Changing a flat tire is not a pleasant experience that often hits the unprepared sooner than they think. When that day comes, you need to be able to deal with it. Here’s how to change a flat tire:

The first thing to do is to get your car’s spare tire, jack and tire iron. In most vehicles, the spare tire is hidden under the floor mat in the trunk. If you have an SUV, minivan or pickup, you can find the spare tire on the back of the tailgate or under the vehicle itself.

Before doing anything, put the car in gear and set the emergency brake. Park the car on a flat piece of pavement and never change a flat if the car is on a slope or if it is sitting on dirt. To prevent the car from moving when you’re raising it, place a brick or a heavy object behind the other tire.

Check the spare tire’s pressure with an air pressure gauge. If the spare is flat too, you’re in big trouble. If not,  remove the flat tire.

With the tire iron (the L-shaped bar that fits over the wheel lugs), loosen each wheel lug by turning them counterclockwise.

After doing this, move the jack underneath the car below the proper jacking points. Raise the jack until it touches the car’s frame and continue expanding it until you can easily remove the flat tire.

Once the flat tire is completely raised off the ground, remove the wheel lugs completely. Put them aside in a secure place where they can’t roll away.

Place the spare tire over the wheel studs. Make sure it fits into the protruding wheel studs on the brake hub. Then screw the wheel lugs back on. Use your hand at first then tighten them with the tire iron.

After putting on the spare tire, carefully lower the jack and remove it from the vehicle. Now is the time to tighten the lugs completely.

Put the flat tire in the trunk or wherever you got the spare tire and drive home or to the nearest tire store to get the flat replaced.

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