What to Do When You Get a Flat Tire: A Step-by-Step Guide

Picture this: you’re cruising down the highway, enjoying the breeze, and suddenly you hear a loud thud. Your heart sinks as you realize you’ve got a flat tire. Don’t panic! While it’s an inconvenience that no driver wants to face, knowing what to do when you get a flat tire can save you time, money, and stress. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step plan on how to handle a flat tire like a pro, so you can get back on the road safely and quickly.

Step 1: Find a Safe Spot

The moment you suspect you have a flat tire, it’s crucial to find a safe spot to pull over. Look for a level and straight stretch of road, away from traffic, if possible. Avoid sharp curves, slopes, or areas with limited visibility. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and signal that you’re experiencing an issue.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools

Before you start fixing the flat tire, you’ll need to gather some essential tools. These include a spare tire, lug wrench, jack, and flashlight. It’s a good idea to keep these items in your vehicle at all times, so you’re prepared for such situations. Familiarize yourself with the location of these tools in your car and how to use them before you need them in an emergency.

Step 3: Remove the Flat Tire

Once you have all the necessary tools, it’s time to get to work. Start by using the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire, but don’t remove them just yet. Then, place the jack in the correct position, following your vehicle’s owner’s manual instructions. Pump the jack handle until the vehicle is high enough for you to safely remove the flat tire.

Step 4: Install the Spare Tire

Carefully take off the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Next, line up the spare tire with the lug bolts and push it onto the wheelbase. Use your hands to tighten the lug nuts as much as you can, but avoid using excessive force at this stage.

Step 5: Lower Your Vehicle and Tighten the Lug Nuts

Lower your vehicle with the jack until it’s resting on the ground. Use the lug wrench to fully tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern, making sure they are secure. Double-check to ensure that all the lug nuts are tightened properly to prevent any issues while driving.

Step 6: Check the Tire Pressure

Now that you’ve installed the spare tire, it’s essential to check its pressure. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct psi (pounds per square inch) for the spare tire. If the pressure is too low, use an air pump to inflate it to the recommended level.

Step 7: Put Away Your Tools and Get Your Tire Repaired

After you’ve completed the above steps, stow away your tools, including the flat tire, in your trunk. Remember that the spare tire is not meant for long-term use and should be replaced with a proper tire as soon as possible. Drive to a tire repair shop or call a professional who can help you to get your flat tire fixed or replaced.


Dealing with a flat tire can be stressful, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can handle the situation confidently. Remember to always prioritize safety by finding a safe spot to pull over, using caution while changing the tire, and getting your tire repaired as soon as possible. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-prepared to handle a flat tire and get back on the road safely in no time. Safe travels!