Flat tire? Here’s how to install a spare tire in 8 steps

It’s that dreaded moment drivers hope they’ll never have to face... Having to install a spare tire on their own!

Maybe you’d rather keep telling yourself that it’ll never happen to you. We get it. However, the chances are that you’ll have to deal with a flat tire at least once in your lifetime. It can happen to anyone!

So you might as well be ready for it. To help you out, we’ve created this flat tire survival guide. First, we’ll explain how you can prepare for this. Then we’ll show you how to install a spare tire in 8 steps.

It’s not that hard, we promise. You’ll be a tire installation pro in no time!

Ready? Here we go!


How to be well prepared


Tire sealant, run-flat tires, compact spare or full-size spare?

Tire sealant

New cars are increasingly less likely to come with a spare tire. If such is the case for you, the manufacturer may have provided an alternative, like a can of tire sealant or a temporary repair kit.

Wondering why? Well, the auto industry has its reasons – lots of them. Removing the spare tire provides better gas mileage, reduces CO2 emissions and creates more space in the trunk (or fuel tank!)

A tire sealant is nonetheless a practical option for a quick fix. But remember – it’s just a band-aid solution and you should go to your Point S Auto Centre as quickly as possible.

Depending on the type of flat, the repair kit may not be an adequate solution (e.g., if the rubber is torn). We therefore recommend you invest in run-flat tires, a compact spare or a full-size spare. Read on to learn the difference.


Run-flat tires

Is your car equipped with run-flat tires? Once reserved for high-end models, these tires are increasingly popular.

The pros? Safety! If you get a flat tire, you retain good control of your car and can easily make your way to the closest garage. There’s no need to pull over to install your spare tire or to call your roadside assistance service.

The cons? Well, they make for a less comfortable ride, and they’re much more expensive than regular tires.


Compact or full-size spare

Not running run-flat tires? You should have a temporary compact or full-size spare. It isn’t mandatory on our roads, but strongly recommended.

What’s the difference between the two? The compact spare, also known as a “donut,” is much thinner – it takes up less space, but is meant to be driven a short distance only. The full-size spare, for its part, looks a lot more like a regular tire.

That being said, both types of spares can be used to replace the flat tire. Let’s have a closer look at the different pros, cons and features of each:

Compact spare

Pros:

  • Cheaper
  • Takes up less space

Cons:

  • Very temporary solution: go directly to the garage
  • Keep your speed under 80 km/h and 65-70 km/h on rainy or snowy days*
  • Tire pressure must be checked monthly – it deflates quickly

Full-size spare

Pros: 

  • Nearly the same as a real tire: you can drive to the garage without worry
  • Depending on the model, you can drive at a regular speed, or slightly slower if it’s smaller than your other tires or on a lighter rim
  • The tire pressure only needs to be checked once a year

Cons: 

  • More expensive
  • Takes up more space


Locate your spare tire

Sure, this seems like it should be obvious, and you’re not wrong! But the spare tire isn’t always stored in the same spot, and you don’t want to wait until you get a flat tire to start hunting around for it.

The spare tire can be found in one of three places:

  1. In the trunk
  2. Under the hood
  3. On the rear trunk door


Get the right tools

Make sure you have a jack, a lug wrench and the tool you need to remove your wheel covers.

Also think about getting a headlamp. It’s much more practical than a flashlight or cell phone, as it leaves both hands free.


Changing a tire in 8 steps

Now that you have all the tools you need, here’s how you install a spare tire in 8 steps.

Step 1: Pull over somewhere safe

If possible, avoid stopping on the highway or a busy street. For your safety, try to limp your car to the closest parking lot. You’ll be away from traffic and in a better position to change your tire.

It’s important that your vehicle be 100% stable. For an automatic car, apply the hand brake. For a manual car, put it in first, then apply the hand brake. If you can find any heavy objects around, use them to chock the wheels.

Step 2: Get your tools ready

Get everything you’ll need – spare tire and tools (jack and lug wrench) – and make sure everything is close at hand.

Step 3: Remove the wheel cover and loosen the lug nuts

Start by prying off the wheel cover (hubcap) with a tool (e.g., flathead screwdriver) or your fingers. You won’t need it for the time being, so leave it in the trunk.

Using the lug wrench, turn the lugs nuts (or bolts) counterclockwise until they loosen slightly. That way, you’ll be able to remove them by hand when the wheel is off the ground. In other words, make sure you don’t remove the lug nuts at this step.

Step 4: Position the jack

The right place for the jack depends on your car model. If you’re changing a front tire, you’ll usually see a small mark on the bottom of the frame, just behind the wheel well.

For rear tires, the mark is usually just in front of the wheel well. That being said, we recommend you check the exact position in your vehicle owner’s manual.

When you find the mark, position the jack fully upright and turn the handle until your tire is roughly 6 inches (or 15 cm). Use your foot if you need to.

Step 5: Remove the lug nuts and flat tire

Now you can go ahead and remove the lug nuts and put them somewhere safe. Next, remove the tire by pulling it toward yourself. Then lay it flat under your car – if the jack gives out, the car won’t have as far to fall.

Sometimes getting the wheel off can be a challenge, but don’t worry, you’ll get there. It may be sticking due to rust or dirt.

Step 5: Replace the tire

Install the spare tire and the lug nuts (tighten them by hand using a star pattern). Don’t use the lug wrench yet.

Step 6: Remove the jack and tighten the lug nuts

You can now lower your vehicle back to the ground by turning the jack handle, then use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts.

Step 7: Get back on the road

Don’t forget your flat tire or any of your tools. Carefully get back on the road, at the speed recommended in the instruction manual. Some spare tires aren’t meant to go faster than 65 or 80 km/h, so be careful.

Step 8: Go to your garage or the nearest gas station

Lastly, depending on the type of spare tire you used, you should more or less go straight to your Point S Auto Centre to get your flat tire repaired or replaced. One way or the other, always remember that a spare tire is a temporary solution.


Even if you don’t need to change your spare tire immediately, you should still go to the nearest gas station and check the tire pressure.

And that’s it! That’s the end of our awesome flat tire survival guide. We hope you were able (or will be able, when the time comes) to change your tire like a pro!

And if not? Well, you can always think about getting roadside assistance :)


In summary, make sure you’re ready to handle a flat tire by having the right tools in your car, And if the unthinkable happens, just follow these 8 steps:

  1. Pull over somewhere safe
  2. Get your tools ready
  3. Remove the wheel cover and loosen the lug nuts
  4. Position the jack
  5. Replace the tire
  6. Remove the jack and tighten the lug nuts
  7. Get back on the road
  8. Go to your garage or the nearest gas station


Just had a flat tire? Go to your nearest Point S retailer.

Our promise?

  • Stress-free tire guarantee
  • Always close to home: over 225 stores across the country
  • 100% transparency policy: no surprises on your invoice


You may also like

The choice of winter tires
Tires

The choice of winter tires

  • winter tires
  • Tires
  • Winter

Discover how to choose our winter tires in 9 steps!Driving in snow or cold weather is inevitable in Quebec. But it’s no longer necessary to stress the importance of getting winter tires—since 2008, all cars are required by law to have...

The Benefits Of Nitrogen Tire Inflation
Tires

The Benefits Of Nitrogen Tire Inflation

  • winter tires
  • summer tires
  • Tires

The benefits of nitrogen tire inflationNitrogen tire inflation is widely available to motorists. This technology has long been tested and used to inflate aircraft and racecar tires for decades. Is it just a passing fad or are there real benefits...

How To Read a Tire Sidewall?
Tires

How To Read a Tire Sidewall?

  • winter tires
  • summer tires
  • Tires

How to read a tire sidewall?In addition to the tire brand and model, the sidewall always indicates the critical information regarding size and capacities.Here is the explanation for the different details of a tire identified as 185/70 R 14...

Uneven Tire Wear
Tires

Uneven Tire Wear

  • security
  • winter tires
  • summer tires
  • Tires

Knowing the wear of your tires is critical to your safety on the roadAll tires have wear indicators that become visible when the tread has been reduced to 1.6 mm or 2/3 po thickness. The tire must then be replaced. A little trick to check...

The Risks of Driving Your Winter Tires in Summer
Tires

The Risks of Driving Your Winter Tires in Summer

  • winter tires
  • summer tires
  • security
  • Tires

What happens when you drive on winter tires in summer?Winter tires are designed work best in the cold and are less effective at dissipating heat, so the risks of overinflating and blowouts are much higher.The rubber compound is much more...

Select the Right RV Tire
Tires

Select the Right RV Tire

  • Tires
  • Security

Summer is just around the corner and all festival-goers and travellers will soon be ready to set off adventure seeking with their RV. However, before hitting the road it is important to install the right tires on your recreational vehicle. With...

The New WinterStar ST Winter Tires for Road Safety
Tires

The New WinterStar ST Winter Tires for Road Safety

  • Winter tires
  • Safety
  • Tires

In winter sunny and rainy days can come in close succession, and it can snow any time. Because of such fast-changing winter weather conditions, trustworthy winter tires are a priority for safe driving. Better not to underestimate what Mother...

Winter Tires: A Closer Look at Innovations
Tires

Winter Tires: A Closer Look at Innovations

  • Winter tires
  • Tires

Long gone are the days of the horse-drawn carriage! The research and development teams of tire manufacturers just keep on coming up each year with more innovations. From intelligent studs to tires with a reduced ecological footprint, advances in...

What is my Vehicle's Recommended Tire Inflation Pressure?
Tires

What is my Vehicle's Recommended Tire Inflation Pressure?

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Summer tires
  • Security

Of all the car maintenance checks there is little doubt that the easiest to perform and surely the least expensive involves the verification of tire inflation pressure. The air pressure in the tires support 95% of the car, so maintaining this...

Why are Tire Manufacturers Formula 1 Partners?
Tires

Why are Tire Manufacturers Formula 1 Partners?

  • Tires
  • Summer Tires

The Formula 1 auto racing circuit presents some of the most exciting sporting events in the world. These race car drivers go 300 km/h (or more) for approximately 70 consecutive laps to win the race. Canada is lucky to be one of the many stops of...

Installation of Winter Tires Advanced to December 1st...2019
Tires

Installation of Winter Tires Advanced to December 1st...2019

  • Winter tires
  • Tires
  • Winter
  • Security

To ensure the safety of motorists during the winter, regulations stipulate that all vehicles registered in the province of Quebec must be equipped with winter tires. Driving with tires adapted to winter conditions is essential to improve road...

Warranties offered by Tire Manufacturers Michelin, Toyo & Goodyear
Tires

Warranties offered by Tire Manufacturers Michelin, Toyo & Goodyear

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Summer tires

Limited tread life warrantyLimited warranty on manufacturing defectsProtection against road hazardsMoney-back guaranteeDid you know that your tires are covered by a warranty provided by the manufacturer, even if they were purchased online? It...

What Impact do Tires have on Fuel Efficiency?
Tires

What Impact do Tires have on Fuel Efficiency?

  • Winter tires
  • Summer tires
  • Tires

As fuel prices continue to rise, drivers are trying to find any way possible to save money at the pump. To do so, we can avoid letting the car run when stopped and try not to use the air conditioning too much. However, there are more efficient...

Should we be Purchasing New or Used Tires?
Tires

Should we be Purchasing New or Used Tires?

  • Tires
  • Summer tires
  • Winter tires

When the time comes to purchase winter or summer tires, it can be difficult to make a decision with all the different brands available. A set of new tires can also be very expensive. Should we prioritize saving money by purchasing used tires, or...

Which are the best All-Season Tires?
Tires

Which are the best All-Season Tires?

  • Top 5
  • Tires
  • Summer
  • Winter

In Quebec, the law stipulates that every vehicle on the road must be equipped with tires specially designed for winter between December 1st and March 15th. This law ensures better safety on the road in difficult driving conditions. However, not...

What is the Difference between a Summer Tire and a Winter Tire?
Tires

What is the Difference between a Summer Tire and a Winter Tire?

  • Tires
  • Summer Tires
  • Winter Tires

In Quebec, it is required to have winter tires on your vehicle between December 1st and March 15th. But why is it important to change our tires in the winter? What are the differences between summer tires and winter tires? It’s all a question...

What are the Top 5 Winter Tires for SUVs in 2019?
Tires

What are the Top 5 Winter Tires for SUVs in 2019?

  • Winter tires
  • Tires
  • Top 5

Even if the weather is still nice, winter is coming with its wet, icy, snowy roads. Since 2019, winter tires must now be installed by December 1st. You should try to make an appointment early to avoid your mechanic being fully booked. Are you...

What are the Top 5 Winter Tires for 2019 ?
Tires

What are the Top 5 Winter Tires for 2019 ?

  • Winter tires
  • Tires
  • Top 5

Since the beginning of 2019, all vehicles registered in Quebec must be equipped with winter tires by December 1st. This year, the winter tires will be coming out earlier! To ensure your safety on the road, make sure your winter tires are adapted...

How to know if a Tire is still in good Condition?
Tires

How to know if a Tire is still in good Condition?

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Summer tires
  • Safety

When the time comes to change our tires, we often wonder if they will hold until the next season or if they are already too worn-out. All you need is one pothole or rub against the curb to damage a tire that is too old or worn-out. It is safer to...

Here are the five best winter tires of 2020
Tires

Here are the five best winter tires of 2020

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Top 5

Temperatures are getting cooler. Summer is (already) coming to an end, which means winter is just around the corner! And the return of the cold season means switching to winter tires.It’s easy to put off your seasonal tire change until the...

What are the best winter tires for SUVs and pickup trucks in 2020?
Tires

What are the best winter tires for SUVs and pickup trucks in 2020?

  • Tires
  • Winter tires
  • Top 5

Need new winter tires for your SUV or pickup truck? You’ve come to the right place! You may have seen our article on the best 2020 winter tires for smaller vehicles. Now, let’s tackle the big guys!Are you still skeptical about the...

What Are The Best Summer Tires For 2021?
Tires

What Are The Best Summer Tires For 2021?

  • Tires
  • Best summer tires
  • Summer Tires
  • Top 5

Spring has arrived and it’s time to swap your winter tires for summer or all-season tires. Some people don’t think it’s necessary, but driving on winter tires in summer does pose some safety risks, which is why we recommend buying summer...

We have chosen this retailer for you.

The retailer below will take care of scheduling your appointment, receiving the products, and installing them.

Your retailer

The retailer below will take care of scheduling your appointment, receiving the products, and installing them.



The use of cookies is necessary so that certain functionalities can be used correctly. Please make sure to activate them in order to take full advantage of the site experience.