As durable as your truck’s tires might be, they aren’t designed to last forever. Poor wheel alignment, improper inflation, or your driving style can all cause them to wear down and need replacement. An unexpected flat may also require you to pull out your tool belt and change your truck’s tire.
Not sure how to get this job done if you get a flat or see damage? Read our guide on how to change a truck tire to get your truck back on the road.
The Short Answer
To change a truck tire, you’ll need to lift your truck, take the old wheel off, and secure the new one into place by tightening the lug nuts.
1. Lifting the Truck
Before you learn how to change a truck tire, you must understand the importance of changing it in the proper location. Find a hard, level surface and park your truck there. After you park your truck appropriately, you’ll need to lift it so that you have adequate room to work.
Prevent the Truck From Moving
Place chocks (small rubber blocks) safely underneath your truck’s wheels to prevent it from moving.
Remove the Wheel’s Hubcap
If your truck wheel has a hubcap (a metal cover over the lug nuts), you’ll need to use a flathead screwdriver to remove it. Position the screwdriver’s tip between the rubber tire and the metal cover and pry it toward you to remove it.
Remove the Exposed Lug Nuts
After the previous step, you should’ve exposed the lug nuts. Use a lug wrench to loosen them. This step may require a lot of resistance, so prepare yourself to use a lot of force.
Lift the Truck
At this point, you’ll be ready to actually lift the truck. Position a hydraulic bottle jack underneath your vehicle. For safety, do so alongside the metal part of your vehicle’s frame (as opposed to the plastic exterior). Pump the jack’s handle up and down until the wheel is about six inches off the ground. Slide the jack stand into place to ensure the jack supports the weight of your vehicle.
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2. Replacing the Tire
Now that your tire is off the ground, you can start the replacement process.
Remove the Lug Nuts and Take the Wheel off Your Truck
Use your hands (rather than tools) to turn the lug nuts counterclockwise and remove them from your wheel. Take your time and grip the bottom and top of the wheel firmly. Pull it toward you and place it on the ground. It might be heavy, so have someone assist you if necessary.
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Position the new Tire on Your Vehicle’s Lug Bolts
Line up the holes in your new wheel with the lug bolts in your vehicle’s wheel well. Slide the wheel onto the bolts and push it back as far as possible.
Screw in the Lug Nuts
Now that you’ve mounted your new tire, you can reinsert the lug nuts. Tighten them as much as you can by hand, but don’t use any tools yet. At this point, you can start removing the jack and jack stands.
Learn more: How Much Does It Cost To Change Your Tires
3. Securing the Tire
The final step to understanding how to change a truck tire is to lower and secure the tire.
Remove the Jack Stands From Underneath Your Vehicle
First, you must use the jack to raise your vehicle by approximately one inch. This step will give you some room to reach your hand underneath your vehicle and move the jack stands toward you. Once the jack stands aren’t underneath the truck, you can collapse them for easier storage.
Always ensure the vehicle is stable on the jack before you try to reach underneath it.
Pump the Jack to Lower the Truck
Pump the jack’s handle to bring the truck’s tires back to ground level. Do so gradually to avoid jolting the vehicle and undoing your hard work.
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Tighten the Lug Nuts
Once the new tire is touching the ground, you can finish securing all the lug nuts. Use a lug wrench to tighten them until they don’t budge anymore. Test their security by attempting to take them off by hand. If you can turn them with your hand, you haven’t tightened them properly. Keep using the lug wrench until the nuts are firmly in place.
Ensure you tighten all lug nuts — some trucks have as many as ten.
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Replace the Hubcap
The hubcap (which is different from the rims) is quite simple to put back on. In most cases, the hubcap will cover the wheel’s side.
Fit the hubcap alongside the wheel’s bottom edge and push the upper part into place. Ensure it stays by tapping it in with a rubber mallet. You might have to screw your hubcap into place if the kind you have has screws.
Don’t remove the jack underneath your truck until you’ve completed the entire process.
When it comes to learning how to change a truck tire, don’t stress. The process is quite simple when you break it down into digestible steps.
As long as you follow this guide, you’ll get your flat off your truck as quickly as possible.
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