so here's how/what i learned are the most important steps to changing a tire:
- first check to see if you have a: jack, spare and tire iron. this should be in your trunk. in my car, they were hidden in the trunk underneath the trunk space. that is, i had to pull up the floor of the trunk to find the tire changing goods.
- loosen the lug nuts on the tire. we did this wrong. you are really supposed to loosen them before you jack the car up. luckily we didn't push the car off the jack by trying to loosen them while the car was mid-air. also, you are going to need to use force. we found that using our foot to apply the force on the iron worked well
- use the jack to lift the tire off the ground. no real explanation needed here -- there was a diagram on the jack to show where it was supposed to go.
- take the lug nuts completely off and pull off the tire. you may want to make sure all the lugs are in one place, those suckers roll around.
- place spare where you just took the old tire off. you may have a 'donut' as i did, don't be alarmed that it looks like a tire from the short bus. just note, as almost everyone that i told about the donut retorted to me -- don't drive over 50mph with that thing!!
- attach the lug nuts loosely. just enough to keep the tire on, make sure tire is on straight.
- lower jack. make sure there is nothing/no one under the car before you do this.
- tighten lug nuts. use force for this, you don't want to be driving around and have those bad boys fall off.
- revel in the fact that you just changed your own tire. woo hoo!!