Last Updated on September 10, 2022 by John K. Clifford
I hope you haven’t punctured your tire – yet. When you do, you’ll spend some time changing it—or watching someone else do it.
Whichever the case, you want to know how long it’ll take. And it takes between 10 and 30 minutes to change a tire. But, that will depend on:
1. Whether a pro or an amateur is doing the job
2. Whether the person changing the tire has done it before
3. Whether there’s a helping hand or not
4. Whether the job is happening at an auto care center or at home
Here are further explanations:
Who’s Doing The Job? Is It You? Are You A Pro Or Not?
If a mechanic is on deck, expect the job to finish quicker. But, if you get a non-expert, you will spend more than an hour waiting.
Have You Ever Done The Job Before?
Like with any other job, experience is an added advantage. If you’ve done it before, you’ll be swifter doing it again.
But if not, you may spend lots of time going back and forth.
Do You Have Someone To Help You?
When you involve more people, the job will take less time. For example, if you’re changing all four tires, you should get auto help. Well, unless you have 4 – 5 hours to spare.
Where Are You Doing The Job?
At home, you may lack the tools necessary to do the job. Thus, there will be some improvisation that could slow the tire change.
But, an auto care center will have the tools. So, you’ll do the job quicker.
A Tabled Summary
Here’s a table that boils down to everything:
|Change For:||Done By A:||At:||Time Taken (Minutes)|
|1 Tire||Non-Expert (DIYer)||Home||10 – 30|
|1 Tire||Expert||Auto Shop||5 – 15|
|1 Tire||Expert||By the Road||10 – 15|
|2 Tires||Expert||Auto Shop||30|
|3 Tires||Expert||Auto Shop||40 – 45|
|4 Tires||Expert||Auto Shop||60 – 75|
|4 Tires||Non-Expert||Home||75 – 120(2 hours)|
Let’s look at some topics people ask about:
How Long It Takes To Change 1 Tire
An average of 20 minutes.
How Long It Takes To Change A Flat Tire
No more than 30 minutes, but an expert will finish in 15 minutes.
How Long It Takes To Get 4 Tires Changed
50 to 60 minutes.
How Long You’ll Take To Change A Tire At Walmart
Between 1 and 4 hours, but that includes waiting time.
Remember that Walmart serves many customers. So, you will not be the only one there. And you’ll have to wait.
How Long You’ll Take To Change A Tire At Costco
Between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
How Long You’ll Take To Change A Tire At Firestone
About 45 minutes depending on the number of people waiting.
How To Change A Flat Tire
You now know how long tire changing can take. But how is it done? Here are the steps:
1. Ensure You Have Tools for the Job
If you’re not sure about them, here’s a checklist:
a) A jack
b) A lug wrench
c) Your vehicle’s manual
d) A spare tire (inflated)
Those four should have come with your vehicle. And here are others that might come in handy:
1. Poncho (in case it’s pouring when your tire flattens)
3. Wheel wedges
4. Flashlights (with batteries)
5. A small wooden piece (2 by 6 inches) to secure your jack
2. Drive To A Secure Place And Park
Once your tire flattens, don’t panic. Instead, drive to a safe place. As you scan the surroundings, reduce your speed.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find an empty parking lot. If you don’t, stop at a place away from heavy traffic. It could be a sidewalk or a bus station.
But don’t drive for too long. It’s because the more you drive the flat tire, the more you ruin the rim.
No matter the steps I give in this section, ensure to look at your vehicle’s manual.
It will give you steps specific to your car.
3. Turn On The Hazard Lights
When the flashers are on, other drivers will be able to see you. Also, it will help to avoid any accidents if there were no indicators.
Also, the hazards can guide another driver to come and help you change the tire. And I’m sure you’d love that.
4. Fit The Wheel Wedges
Wheel wedges ensure your car doesn’t roll while you change the tire. And sure, you don’t want that to happen. So, you’ll either fix them behind the rear wheels or in front of the front wheels.
If your wedges are not around, improvise. Large stones or bricks work as well, so don’t mind trying them.
5. Undo The Lugnut With The Wrench
In this step, you may need an extra push. It is because the resistance may be too harsh for your hands. So, involve your feet plus your body weight to turn the wrench.
But don’t loosen the lug nuts altogether. You’ll finish the job when removing the wheel from the car.
6. Jack The Vehicle
If your car is on asphalt, you should involve a small cut of wood. It will prevent your jack from coming off balance.
Once you position the jack well, raise the vehicle. You should do it until the punctured tired is up six inches.
7. Now, Finish Step 5
Remove the lug nuts through and through. Then, you can complete the unscrewing using your hands.
8. Take Out The Flat Tire
Remove the tire by pulling it to yourself. To do this step well, grip the tire by its treads. Once you finish, rest it on its side. If not, you may end up chasing it down the road, Mr. Bean style.
9. Take Up The Spare Tire
Now, place your spare tire on the wheel’s hub. Do that by lining up the rim and the lug bolts. Then, push the wheel until you see the lug bolts through the rim.
10. Place And Tighten The Lug Nuts Using Your Hands
You could put on your gloves for this step. Once the nuts are in, ensure they’re tight enough.
But don’t worry, you’ll complete the job once the vehicle is near the ground.
11. Put The Vehicle Down
Jack down the car until the spare tire is almost on the ground. Then, tighten the lug nuts. That is important because you don’t want your tires rolling off while you drive.
By writing that, I’m scared. You should too.
12. Jack Down The Car Altogether
Now, bring your car down. Then, remove the jack. And if you can, check if the lug nuts are tight enough. Remember, extra caution is extra safety.
Note: If you had a hubcap on the flat tire, place it on the spare tire.
And that was it – you have completed the tire-changing process.
I hope you time yourself. That way, you will know how long it takes to change a tire.
We’ve settled at 15 minutes as the average time to change a tire. But, an auto expert will do the job in less time.
While you can get tire-changing services in Costco and Walmart, avoid that option. You’ll save more time doing it yourself, and you’ll spend little to nothing.
If DIY is not your thing, call for road help. The cost of changing a flat tire is between $13 and $45, and that’s convenient. Also, you won’t get grease on yourself.
So, if you found the post helpful, don’t forget to share. Also, let those drivers know how to deal with a flat tire.