How to Change a Tire on a Prius

by Marley KennedyUpdated July 12, 2023
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Whether with an old or new car, everyone has been there. A flat tire is a nightmare, no matter when or where it presents itself. Luckily, changing the tire on a compact Toyota Prius is simple. It's even easier if time is taken to familiarize yourself on how to change a tire before a flat happens. This can save valuable time and avoid further stress.


When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual on how to fix a flat. Keeping your manual in your glove compartment can be a life saver during unexpected DIY scenarios. There are also full videos available online to walk you through the process should you run into trouble.

Things you will need

  • Spare Tire
  • Car Jack
  • Wrench

Removing the Flat Tire

  1. Park the car on the nearest flat surface, if possible. Engage your parking brake and apply wheel wedges to reduce chances of rolling during the procedure. If you are on the side of the road, remember to turn on your hazard lights. Take the car jack, handle, wrench and spare tire out from under the center deck board/auxiliary box in the trunk.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts slightly using the lug wrench. One turn to the left is enough.
  3. Place the jack under the vehicle with the side labeled "A" towards the outside of the car, and the center notch of the jack in alignment with the jack point (two small notches in the underside edge of the vehicle next to the tire).
  4. Turn the jack handle to raise the vehicle until the flat tire is elevated slightly from the ground. Completely loosen and remove all the wheel nuts, then remove the damaged tire.


If your front tire is flat, move a full sized tire from the back to the front, and put the spare tire on a back wheel.

Replacing the Tire

  1. Clean away any dirt or debris from the wheel contact surface. Tiny dirt particles can cause loosening of wheel nuts when the vehicle goes into motion.
  2. Align the wheel nut slots and mount the emergency spare tire onto the wheel contact surface with the tire valve stem pointing out. Slightly tighten each wheel nut evenly by hand (to do this, simply start at the top nut, then tighten the one directly across, and then the one across from that, and so on to keep the pattern going). Keep tightening each evenly until the tapered part at the end of the wheel nuts are in contact with the spare tire's "face."
  3. Lower the vehicle and finish securely tightening each nut evenly with the wrench. Make sure to put all the strength into this!
  4. Put the flat tire, hubcap or wheel cover, and all other tools used in the repair back in storage under the trunk.


Emergency spare tires are not meant to be used as a regular tire, so it is vital to get a new tire replacement as soon as possible. Remember to never drive long distances over 50 miles per hour while using an emergency spare tire, as these are not meant to withstand high speeds. This is especially pertinent if you are driving with a donut spare. Remember to check the Prius tire pressure and integrity of the tread and sidewall on your spare regularly.

Video: How to change a wheel on your Toyota

Helpful comments from the video:

  • Spare tire goes on back, you need to do a double change if you get a front flat. Wheels nuts are supposed to be tighten in a star pattern. The simple reason behind the star pattern of torqueing your lug nuts is to reduce wheel flexing and shifting. You see when you tighten a single nut, it keeps getting tighter and tighter till the point the wheel mounting face (what you're tightening against) gets stuck to the hub.
  • You don't want to tighten the nuts in sequence. It must be opposites, think of writing a star. That way the wheel is more likely to be balanced.
  • First time I changed tyre...very helpful this Video...thank you

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