Getting a flat tire on your Jeep isn’t fun. But it isn’t that difficult to change the tire quickly and safely if you know how to do it and have the tools to do it. Yes, I have a towing service with my auto insurance, by why wait an hour or more for help when you can fix it yourself in a fraction of that time? This article will explain how to fix a flat tire on your Jeep.
To change a flat tire on your Jeep you need level ground out of the line of traffic, a spare tire, jack, lug nut wrench, wood blocks (a 2’ long 4×4” block and a 6” 2×4” block), and gloves. It will take you about 15-30 minutes start to finish.
How to Change a Flat Tire on a Jeep?
Follow this simple process:
- Get the Jeep to level (and safe from traffic) ground
- Apply the emergency brake and put your hazard lights on
- Get the spare tire (I always carry a full-sized spare in my Jeeps) and tools out of the Jeep’s cargo area or off the Jeep’s tire carrier
- Loosen (but don’t remove) the lug nuts on the wheel with the lug nut wrench (Remember: Left to loosen and right to tight)
- Place wheel chocks behind the opposing tires. For example, if the front tire is flat, put the wheel chocks behind the rear tires. If the rear tire is flat, put the wheel chocks in front of the front tires.)
- Position the jack under the Jeep according the owner’s manual (I usually jack at the axle) and raise the Jeep so there is about one inch of space between the bottom of the tire and the ground (I recommend carrying and using a jack stand to support the Jeep once it has been jacked up—avoid relying on the jack to support the Jeep.)
- Now remove the lug nuts completely and with your hands at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions– remove the wheel (Why those positions? Because if the Jeep fell– it wouldn’t land on your hands)
- Put the spare on with your hands in the same positions (9 and 3) and finger tighten the lug nuts (Remember: Right to tight and left to loosen)
- Lower the Jeep with the jack back to the ground
- Tighten lug nuts with the lug nut wrench and remove jack
Put flat tire and tools in trunk and be on your way about 15-20 minutes later
How to Repair a Flat Tire on a Jeep?
So, you had a flat tire, changed it and got the Jeep home. Now it is time to fix it. Assuming the flat is due to puncture, you can repair it yourself. Here is what you need:
- Flat tire plug kit (Rasp tool, split needle tool, plug material, and glue)
- Pan with water
- Razor blade
- Air pressure gauge
- Impact gloves
- Disposable gloves
- Eye protection
- Shop towels or rags
What you will also need (assuming the flat is still on the Jeep):
Assuming you have removed the wheel, here is what to do:
- Visually look for the puncture– it is usually a screw or nail
- Use the pan with water and rotate the tire and look for bubbles if needed
- Once you find the problem, circle it with the chalk and use the pliers to remove the nail
- Let out all remaining air from the tire
- Use the rasp tool in the plug kit and insert and remove it into and from the puncture several times
- Take a four-inch piece of plug material and put it through the split needle tool (In the middle of the material)
- Soak the plug material and the puncture site with glue
- Insert the plug material part (half) way into the puncture and jerk the split needle tool out leaving the plug material with two ends sticking out about 1-2 inches
- Allow the glue to try for ten minutes or so
- Use the razor blade to trim the plug material flush to the tire
- Re-inflate the tire, test the tire in the water pan if you wish (there should now be no air bubbles present)
Replace the wheel on the Jeep using the approach to changing a tire above and off you go.
Now Would Also be a Good Time to Check the Air Pressure in the Tires on Your Jeep
After a flat and repairing it, it is a good time to check the tire pressures in your Jeep’s tires. It is an easy job that takes just minutes. Proper air pressure in your Jeep’s tires promotes safe driving, saves money through improved gas mileage, and extends tire life. All you need is a tire air pressure gauge, your owner’s manual or sticker on the driver side door, and an air source.
Head over to the service station or use your air compressor. Here’s how to check the tire air pressure of your Jeep:
- Consult your Jeep’s owner’s manual or the sticker on the driver’s side door for the proper recommended tire pressures for your Jeep. You will probably find different pressures for front and back. It doesn’t matter what the tire sidewall says– follow the owner’s manual or that sticker
- Use the tire pressure gauge twice on each tire to get an accurate reading. If you are over– let some air out and check pressure again. Repeat, until you are where you need to be.
- Use the gas station air hose and put some air in– don’t overdo it. Check the tire pressure, Need more? Repeat until correct pressure reading appears
This whole process should take no more than ten minutes. Your reward for doing this? As I mentioned earlier, here are the benefits:
- Ensures your safety (This should be reason enough)
- Extends tire life
- Improves your gas mileage
How often should you do this? I would say at the very least monthly.
How to Rotate Your Jeep’s Tires
Since you can now safely jack up your Jeep and remove its tires, you can rotate your Jeep’s tires. Here is how to rotate tires on your Jeep (See my related article below for a more detailed description of rotating your Jeep’s tires).
What you need:
- Jack stands and wheel chocks
- Lug nut spinner wrench
- Jeep Vehicle Owner’s Manual or reference manual
Here’s what to do:
- Consult your Jeep owner’s manual for frequency and direction of rotation
- Loosen lugs nuts on one side of Jeep
- Jack one of the wheels on that side
- Place a jack stand at that wheel
- Jack the other wheel on that side
- Place a jack stand at that wheel
- Remove wheels and switch
- Reverse the order of the above steps
- Repeat on the other side
While the tires are off your Jeep to forget to be sure and inspect the tires for wear and damage—replace if needed.
I rotate the tires on my Jeeps back to front and vice versa every 10,000-15,000 miles.
One Final Thought for My Fellow Jeepers
You should practice on your Jeep in your driveway once or twice, so you can do it the moment it is needed. While practicing, but sure to use anti-seize dressing on your Jeep’s lug nut studs—you will appreciate that in winter to avoid rusted lug nuts. Know how to work with the equipment and safely and easily handle these tasks for your Jeep.