I got a flat tire on my Hyundai Santa Fe 2012 Limited. I am no way a mechanical but still wondering if I can change a tire by myself.

I looked up a few videos online and they just teach you how to change a spare tire. My understanding is that then we still have to take the car to a car shop for a replacement of a regular tire.

My question is though, can I, a newbie, just change a regular tire from my garage, saving time, a few bucks, a trip and duplicated efforts? Is there any difference from replacing a spare tire or any additional work beside the replacement?

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  • Asking for clarification: do you mean put the spare wheel and tire on in place of the flat tire , Or do you mean remove the flat tire from the wheel and mount a new tire on the wheel ?
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 7, 2020 at 17:17
  • Have a look here, gives you an idea: youtube.com/watch?v=HpkgeulrRJI
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 8, 2020 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


If you mean, "Can I change a wheel, putting on a regular wheel rather than a space-saver wheel", then yes - as long as you have a wheel available, it's the same effort.

If you mean, "Can I dismount my punctured tire, repair it, and then put it back on the wheel", no.

Technically it's possible, but it needs a lot of specialist (read: expensive) equipment, and the repair NEEDS to be done from the inside of the tire. Take the car to a shop and let them get dirty doing it - a lot of tire stores won't even charge you for the repair, if it's possible to be repaired.

For what it's worth; I can do a lot of car repairs, up to removing, rebuilding and reinstalling engines. And I would never consider doing my own puncture repairs.


If you can get the flat tyre off your vehicle and install the spare then you can drive the flat down to the shop. It really isn't worth trying to break the bead and remove the tyre from the rim yourself. Of course, if you were to purchase both tyre and rim (with tyre mounted on the rim and balanced) then of course you could just take it home and replace the flat on your car.

You will need the shop to remove the tyre from your alloy rim then either fix the flat and put the tyre back on the rim or sell you a new tyre and install it on the rim. Then the tyre/rim combination needs to be balanced so it doesn't vibrate at highway speeds.

They can either give you the tyre/rim at that point where you can take it home and take the spare off then reinstall the full size tyre or you can let them do it for a couple of bucks.

Alternately, you can possibly DIY. If you have a portable inflator and some tyre plugs you can try to locate the source of the flat yourself with a spray bottle of soapy (dish soap works great) water. If you find an isolated nail, use side-cutter pliers to remove the nail then the tyre plug rasp to rough up the hole and finally install the plug and snip any excess off. Some people don't trust tyre plugs but I've never had any problem with them and since the tyre is never removed from the rim there is no need to rebalance.

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   Side-cutter pliers and a tyre plug repair kit

  • 1
    In the UK the only type of tyre plug that a professional would fit is a combination "plug and patch" which is fitted from the inside, so the tire has to come off the rim. But if you don't value your own life enough to bother to look inside the tire to see what the damage might be, that's your affair, if your country considers it to be a legal repair.
    – alephzero
    Apr 7, 2020 at 16:38
  • 1
    I would definitely not trust a plug from the outside of the tire, it goes under the category of can, but shouldn't. Get it professionally fixed!
    – GdD
    Apr 7, 2020 at 16:55
  • Those repair kits are only meant for low speed offroad tires. Please DO NOT consider using one on a vehicle used on public roads. Plugs are fine, but must be installed from the inside of the tire.
    – PeteCon
    Apr 7, 2020 at 17:20

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