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Last sync:2024-04-27 18:15
In which we discuss how to change a flat tire!

(Note: This is a kind of "remake" of an old video. We've learned a lot more since then, so we decided it really needed an update. Enjoy!)

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Created by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Emma and Mike are also Young Adult novelists!
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Directed by:
T. Michael Martin

Edited by:
Nathan Talbott

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

 Intro (0:00)

 Episode Start (0:14)

Hey guys! So, let's talk changing a tire. 

First: the bare essentials.

#1: a spare tire. This may be in a hidden compartment in your trunk or on the back or underneath the body of the car.

#2: a tire iron that matches the lug nuts on your car. This may also include a locking nut, which we'll talk about in a second.

#3: a car jack.

The bare optionals: canned tire inflator, such as fixaflat; a roadside safety kit, which may include flashlights, gloves, and reflectorized safety triangles; a roadside assistance membership to someplace like AAA (We don't endorse any specific organization but, in general, they're really worth looking into).

So let's say you're driving along in your automobile and pop goes the tire! What do you do?

Step 1: pull over to a safe spot. Grip the steering wheel firmly. Don't slam the breaks, but just let the car slow down by taking your foot off the gas pedal.

If you can't get to an exit, make sure you get as far onto the shoulder as possible, or into a break-down lane. Once you're pulled over, if you have a manual, put your car into first or reverse gear. If you have an automatic, just put it into park. Either way, remember to set your parking break.

Step 2: turn on your hazard lights and gather your equipment. As you're doing so, make a note of any information on the spare tire itself.

For instance, some tires will tell you how far you can drive on them. Some cars will also have a special key on their tires. If you have access to large pieces of sturdy material such as wood or rocks, you can put those in front of and behind the tire that is diagonally opposite from the one you're changing. 

This prevents the car from rolling.

Step 3: snap a picture of how your car looks before you change it so that when you're putting it back together, you'll have a guide.

Step 4: use your tire iron to loosen those lug nuts, which are the things that actually hold your tire onto your car. You may have to remove the hubcap first and you may also have to remove the key.

Now, you don't want to remove the lug nuts yet. Just loosen them by turning your tire iron counter-clockwise.

Step 5: use the jack to lift the vehicle.

Make sure you're on solid, level ground and you're putting the jack securely in the correct spot on the frame of your car. As always, consult your manual.

Get the car up high enough so that the car can spin freely.

Number 6: remove the lug nuts and take the tire off the car. 

Some people advise putting the spare tire under the edge of the car while you're doing this, as it can act as a buffer if the car slides off the jack. Make sure you place the lug nut someplace where they won't get scattered and pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.

But here is something you don't wanna do. See the things I'm doing with my legs in the video? Don't do that! Don't put your legs under the car. It's there to show you what NOT to do. You're welcome.

Step 7: put your spare on the car.

Line up the holes on your spare tire with the lug nut posts on the wheel base and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base.

Step 8: put the lug nuts back on the tire and tighten them as tight as you can using just your hands.

Step 9: use the jack to bring the car safely back to Earth. Once the car is back on the ground, remove the jack.

Step 10: really tighten those lug nuts. Tighten them as much as you can using your tire iron in a diagonal or star pattern.

Step 11: put your tire iron and equipment away and remember to remove those wheel shocks.

Step 12: drive on! And as soon as you can, get a new full-sized tire put on your car.

The spare tire is not designed to go as far or as fast as regular tires, so please do keep that in mind as you're moving along.

And that is all we've got for you today! If you guys have any roadside safety tips, please let us know in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you!

In the meantime, Pop! went the catchphrase. Uh oh! Do I have a spare? No! I let Emma borrow it.

Thanks a lot.


That was sarcasm.