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Buy 3 Tires, Get the 4th Free Plus 10% Off tires. Enter Promo Code SPEED10. SHOP TIRES.

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Green Means Go: Buy 3 Tires, Get the 4th Free Plus 10% Off tires
Receive 10% off select tires when scheduled for installation on PepBoys.com and installation is completed between 4/14/14 through 4/26/14 Use promotional code SPEED10 at checkout to receive discount OR click here to print this in store coupon and present at time of installation. Cannot be combined with any other offer, coupon or rebate. Valid on select in stock tires only, those tires for which discount is available will be identified in search results, all other tires and special order tires are excluded from this offer. Requires purchase of road hazard warranty and tire installation package which includes valve stems or TPMS reseal kit and balancing.

Free Shipping orders over $75
Free Ground Shipping on Ship to Address orders over $75. No code needed. Offer only valid on in-stock merchandise valued at a total of $75, after any discounts have been applied, and before any core charges, shipping charges, fees and taxes have been added. Certain items exceeding weight and size limitations are excluded. See item descriptions for details.

Changing a Flat

Many drivers prefer to leave changing flat tires to the professionals. But someday you may be in a situation where you have to do it yourself. So here's what you need to know.


First things first – how do you find the jack?

If you don't know where your jack, spare tire and tools are stored or you've never taken them out, give your owner's manual a look. It will show you where your tools are located and how to use them.

Then take a couple minutes, find everything and try it all out. Waiting to learn how to use your tools on a dark, rainy night can be zero fun and dangerous. Also think about how to locate a safe place out of traffic to change your tire.

Now's also a good time to make sure your spare is properly inflated. Check to see if your wheels have security lug nuts and whether or not you have the lugnut key/adapter to remove them.

Park in a safe spot


Park in a Safe Spot to Change a Flat Tire

If you have to change a flat tire, park your car well off the road so that you have enough room to work while staying clear of passing traffic. Try to park on a firm and level surface. If possible, do not park on dirt or grass – your jack may sink into the dirt and become unstable.

Caution: Before you change a flat, turn off your engine and engage the emergency or parking brake. If your car has an automatic transmission, put it in "Park". If you have a manual transmission, put it in reverse gear. Get all of the occupants out of the car.

Set up any emergency warning devices you may have such as flares, flags, warning lights or triangles so that drivers can see them before they see you. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper placement and location near your car.

Make an Appointment

Prepare everything you need in advance

Consult your owner's manual and follow the procedures for your type of car.

  1. 1. To fix a flat you must have:

    • Car jack
    • Jack handle or crank
    • Lug wrench – lugs are the nuts that hold the wheel onto the axle. (On some cars, the jack handle and wrench are combined).

  2. 2. Check your spare tire
    Make sure your spare tire is inflated properly. If it is flat, do not try to change the tire. Have you car towed to Pep Boys.

    Note: If you have a portable air compressor in your trunk, inflate the spare tire to the proper pressure.

  3. 3. Loosen the lug nuts slightly – before you jack up the car.

    • If your car has a wheel cover (hubcap), remove it first by using a screwdriver or the flat end of the jack handle or lug wrench. Note: On some cars, the wheel cover is held in place by the lug nuts. Leave this style cover on the flat wheel.
    • Use the lug wrench to loosen the lugs nuts by turning the wrench counter clockwise.
    • Hold the wrench firmly and push down. Never pull up on the wrench. If the nuts are too tight, use penetrating oil to loosen them or use your foot to push down on lug wrench. Loosen the lug nuts only one turn. Do not remove the lug nuts at this time.

  4. 4. Set up your jack
    Assemble and place your jack following the instructions provided in your owner's manual. Follow these directions carefully! Placing a jack at the wrong spot can be dangerous and can actually damage your car.

    Most cars sold in the U.S. are equipped with a scissors jack. This jack consists of a handle and jack assembly. It fits under special spots on the car's chassis or body. Your owner's manual will tell you exactly where to place the jack under the car. The jack is raised by turning the handle clockwise and lowered by turning the handle counterclockwise.

  5. 5. Secure the car and the jack
    Place a block of wood or a chock under the tire diagonally opposite from the flat to prevent the car from rolling off the jack. If you have to change the tire while on grass or soft ground, place a piece of plywood under the jack to keep it from sinking into the ground (use a piece of plywood larger than the jack's base).

  6. 6. Position the jack
    Following the directions in your owner's manual, place the jack in the correct spot nearest to the tire your are changing.

    Caution: Never place a jack under the axle or suspension member.

  7. 7. Raise the car
    Jack up the car until the tire clears the ground, at least 1". Be sure the jack stays in the correct position as you work. Remove the jack handle.

    Caution: Do not work under a car held up by a jack.

  8. 8. Remove the lug nuts and wheel
    Use the lug wrench to remove the nuts. Place the lug nuts where you won't lose them. Pull the wheel off and set it aside.

    Note: Some wheels also use one "security nut" per wheel. These nuts have a special shape and require a special adapter to remove. The adapter is usually clipped to the lug wrench or found in the glove box.

  9. 9. Put on the spare
    Roll the spare into position. If necessary, jack up the car a little more to fit the spare. Make sure you have the correct side of the spare facing out (you'll usually see the label facing you). Align the wheel holes with the studs and slide the spare onto the studs. Hold the wheel in place and screw on each lug nut hand tight with the tapered end facing toward the wheel.

  10. 10. Tighten the lug nuts
    ?Use the wrench to tighten the nuts following the sequence directed by your owner's manual. If you do not have an owner's manual follow the sequence as shown.

    Note: There are different tightening sequences for 4- and 5-lug wheels. Tightening the nuts in the proper sequence ensures that the wheel mounts properly and that the stress is evenly distributed over the wheel.

  11. 11. Lower the car
    Lower the jack until it's free from the weight of the car. Remove the jack and block. Tighten all nuts once more, in the proper sequence.

    Caution: Many spares are not full-size, normal tires. These smaller spares can't be driven at normal speeds and should only be driven for short distances. Consult your owner's manual for instructions and warnings for driving with a compact spare.

  12. 12. Take the damaged tire to Pep Boys
    Have the damaged tire inspected by a Pep Boys professional technician to determine if it can be repaired.

  13. 13. Replace spare with repaired or new tire as soon as possible
    Check your spare's inflation and return it along with your jack and tools to their proper location.

Tire service from the pros – Pep Boys
The Pep Boys team of professional service technicians is ready to handle all your tire service needs. We can arrange for towing and can often fix flats while you wait.

We offer extended service hours, including nights and weekends. For the do-it-yourselfer, we carry a full line of tools, equipment and quality, name-brand parts and supplies.