What Are the Most Important Tire Changing Tools?

What Are the Most Important Tire Changing Tools?
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Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire? It’s a frustrating experience that can happen to anyone, but being prepared with the right tire-changing tools can make all the difference. 

First and foremost, a jack and lug wrench are the essential tools needed to change a tire. However, specialized tools like tire irons and valve stem tools can make the process easier and faster. I’ll explain the functions of each device and why they are necessary for a successful tire change.

In addition to having a spare tire, I believe every driver should have some tire mounting training. Knowing how to use the most common tools can help them save time and money for calling a toe truck when they have a bile tire or some other easy fix- so they can drive themselves to an auto shop. 

Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a novice driver, knowing the essential tools needed for changing a tire is important. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand what tools you need to carry with you and be better equipped to handle unexpected flat tires on the road. 

Lug Wrench

A car mechanic using lug wrench

As a car owner, I have found that a lug wrench is an essential tool for changing tires. Also known as a wheel wrench, this tool loosens and tightens the lug nuts that secure the wheel to the hub. Without a lug wrench, changing a flat tire on the side of the road would be nearly impossible.

A lug wrench is a tool that can be used on many types of vehicles, including cars, vans, and RVs. Keeping one in an emergency kit in a vehicle is vital since it can be helpful when faced with a roadside problem. 

Finally, what good is a lug wrench or any other tool if you don’t know how to use it? Ensure you are familiar with every element of your vehicle’s tool kit and know how to use it. A little extra time learning now can save you a whole lot of time down the road.


The jack is a tool used to lift the car off the ground so you can access the tire. You won’t be able to change your tire without a jack, so it’s crucial to ensure you always have one in your car.

2 jacks lifting a car

The type of jack you need will depend on the vehicle you are driving, so be sure to check your user manual for more information. Some cars already have a jack included, while others may require purchasing one separately. Some jacks can also serve double duty as a bottle opener or lug wrench!

Jack Stand

A jack stand is a tool to secure the car while changing the tire. If a vehicle is not adequately secured, it can pose a severe safety risk. Jack stands are essential for any roadside tire change and should be included in your emergency kit.

a mechanic using a jack stand

Jack stands come in various sizes, so make sure you have the correct size for your vehicle. Jack stands can be used with a hydraulic jack or other lifting device to secure the car while changing the tire. They are adjustable and made from heavy-duty steel to support large vehicles.

Tire Iron

A tire iron is a tool to help remove and install tires onto rims. It’s a long metal rod with a curved end that fits over the lug nut, allowing it to be unscrewed. Tire irons come in various lengths and can be bought at any tire shop.

When using the tire iron, always ensure that the curved end is firmly placed on top of the lug nut to not damage it or have it slip off when applying pressure. Before you begin working with a tire iron, you should inspect your tires and rims to ensure they are compatible and that no sharp edges could damage them. Raising the car and properly securing it with jack stands will also help ensure your safety as you work.

Tire Iron Set

A tire iron set is essential for changing tires, as it helps remove and install tires. This tool kit is necessary for loosening and tightening the lug nuts that secure the wheel to the hub. A good tire tool kit with a case is a perfect solution to have all the potential tools at hand and on the road. 

A tire iron set typically includes three tools: a flat-head screwdriver, a cross-head screwdriver, and a tire spoon. The flat-head screwdriver removes the lug nuts from the wheel, while the cross-head screwdriver can adjust the valve stem on tubeless tires. The tire spoon is used to pry off and install tires on rims.

Tire Spoons

Tire spoons are tools specifically created for easier and faster tire changing. They are constructed from sturdy materials such as steel and are available in various sizes and shapes that fit different tire and rim sizes. Practicing the proper technique helps to stop damage to the rim or tire, making tire spoons a time-saving alternative to other methods.

Tire Plug Kit

A tire plug kit is necessary for repairing punctures in tubeless tires. It comes with a tool to insert plugs into the hole and a pump or CO2 canister to inflate the tire after plugging it. This kit is excellent for quickly repairing small punctures on the side of the road, saving you from having to change the tire.

Tire Pressure Gauge

a person using a pressure gauge

A tire pressure gauge is an essential tool for any roadside tire repair. It’s important to make sure that your tires are inflated correctly and that there aren’t any leaks present. With a tire pressure gauge, you can accurately measure the air in the tire from 0-60 psi and check for any irregularities.

Using a tire pressure gauge is easy. All you need to do is unscrew the valve stem cap on the wheel, then press the gauge onto it firmly until you get a reading. Check all four tires regularly to keep them properly inflated and maximize your car’s performance and fuel efficiency.

Tire Sealant

A tire sealant is an excellent option for flat tire repairs o fix minor punctures and small leaks in your tires. This product works by sealing the hole with a layer of rubber and preventing air from leaking out. Tire sealants can be purchased at any auto parts store, and they come in various sizes and types depending on the type of tire you have. Always refer to the instructions on the bottle before applying it, as different tire sealants may require different application methods.

Pry Bar

As someone always on the go, I can’t stress the importance of having a pry bar in my car’s tool kit enough.

Pry bars are versatile tools that come in handy in various situations, especially when you need to pry open doors, windows, or panels that are stuck or jammed. They are also great for removing stubborn nails, screws, or other complicated fasteners with other tools. Their flat, chisel-like end can be wedged into tight spaces, providing leverage and making it easier to pry open or lift heavy objects.

Whether on a road trip or running errands around town, having a pry bar in your car can be a real lifesaver in case of emergency or unexpected situations.

 Air Compressor

Air compressor

An air compressor is an essential tool for any tire-changing job. It’s used to inflate the tire after it has been changed and is essential to ensure it is properly inflated. Most modern cars come with a built-in air compressor, but if yours does not, you can purchase one from your local auto parts store or online.

When purchasing an air compressor, make sure that it is compatible with your vehicle’s tires, and always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before using it.

Anti Seize Compound

An anti-seize compound is a lubricant that helps prevent rust and corrosion on metal parts. It also helps to reduce friction between the tire and rim, making it easier to remove the tire. Anti-seize compounds are available at most auto parts stores and should be used when changing tires to ensure a smooth operation.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has experienced the hassle of a flat tire, I can tell you that having the right tools on hand is key to a successful tire change.

Depending on your tire type, you may need some specialized tools for the job. If you’re dealing with a car or truck, lug wrenches and tire spoons will be handy. Tire irons also break bead locks and remove stubborn tires from rims.

Once your new tire is mounted on the wheel, check the tire pressure and ensure it is properly inflated. This can be done with a tire pressure gauge or an air compressor. Finally, don’t forget to apply a light coating of anti-seize compound to the rim before you mount your new tire. This will help prevent rust and corrosion and make it easier to remove the wheel in the future.

Understanding these essential tire-changing tools will prepare you for any roadside emergency. Ensure you carry all the tools required to get back on the road quickly in case of an unexpected flat tire!


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