How Long Does It Take To Change a Tire?

Changing a tire is something that anyone can do. If you do it right, you’ll be back on the road in no time at all. So how long does it take to change a tire? Someone who has changed several car tires in their life can usually get it all done in about 20 to 30 minutes. However, if you’ve never changed a tire before, it might take about an hour. Don’t be in a rush, though, and remember to put safety first.

Someone who has changed several car tires in their life can usually get it all done in about 20 to 30 minutes
(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Also, things like the temperature, the weather, or where you are when you change the tire could affect how long it takes you to change it. To get started, you should follow some specific steps to do it as quickly as possible.

Preparing To Change the Tire – What You Will Need

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have everything you need. Check your trunk, and you should find a lug wrench, which you’ll use to unscrew the nuts that hold the tire in place. You should also see your spare tire and an extra jack – these are crucial to the job.

What You Need to Know About Spare Tires

You can find spare tires in different places on different cars. Some car models have spare tires in the trunk, which is easy to find. Other car models put the spare tire underneath the vehicle on the passenger side.  In still another example, the 2022 Honda Odyssey puts the spare tire under the floor behind the driver’s seat. 

Keep in mind that more and more new vehicles are being sold without a spare tire to reduce weight. Also, remember that an old spare tire can lose air. Be sure it is strong enough to do the job before you go to the trouble of putting it on.

Remove the HubCap and Loosen the Lug Nuts

You will have to start by removing the hubcap, which you can usually do with a screwdriver or your hands. After taking off the hub cap, you’ll need to loosen the lug nuts that hold the tire in place. Hopefully, you haven’t lost your wheel lock nut. 

Be sure that you don’t lift the car before you loosen the lug nuts. If you do this, your tire will spin around while you’re trying to loosen it, making it extremely difficult to take it off. Instead, it’s best to loosen the lug nuts while your tire is still firmly planted on the ground. Also, you don’t need to take the lug nuts off entirely during this step; only loosen them slightly.

Lift the Car

Your next step should be lifting the car you’re working on. One tip for lifting the car is to use the jack that came with the vehicle. The jack that came with the car is meant to lift the weight of that car safely. You don’t want to try and raise a car with a jack that isn’t meant to lift that specific weight.

Another tip is to make sure that you don’t lift the vehicle too high off the ground. You only need to raise the car just enough that you can take off the old tire and roll on the spare.

Remove the Lug Nuts and Wheel

Now that your lug nuts are loose and the tire is off the ground, you can remove the lug nuts altogether and then remove the flat tire. Make sure you put the lug nuts in a safe place to avoid losing them over the next couple of steps.

I like to put them in a baggie or in the vehicle’s cup holder that I’m working on. That way, I know where to find them when installing the new tire.

Take Off the Old Tire

After you’ve removed the lug nuts, take off the wheel and set it aside. Some new vehicles come with bags (check the spare tire location or glove box) meant for your old tire to avoid getting the interior of your car dirty.

Put on the Replacement Tire

Make sure you use the same lug nuts you used to remove the old tire and tighten them exactly as you did when you removed them. Don’t tighten them all the way just yet – you first need to use the jack to lower the car, then the real tightening can begin. 

Lower the Car

Once your tires are touching the ground, you need to start with the meticulous tightening process. Since you want your tire to remain straight, you have to tighten each lug nut in increments. Don’t tighten one and move onto the next one, as you must tighten each lug nut in increments to prevent the tire from moving. Once you’re done tightening all of your lug nuts, lower the tires onto the ground and secure the spare tire by ensuring that all the lug nuts fit tight. 

Conclusion

Now you know how long does it take to change a tire and the steps you can do to change it by yourself. Once you’ve taken off the old tire and installed the new one, it’s time to perform your final safety checks. These consist of you making sure that you’ve put the tire on securely (and straight), you’ve tightened the lug nuts, and that you’ve properly stored your equipment.

In terms of safety considerations when changing a flat tire, remember you’re working on a piece of machinery, and flat tires often need to be changed on busy roads. Therefore, it’s essential to use caution and to make sure you know what you are doing.

Read more: The Best Tire Inflator Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide

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