How to Change a Tire on a Scion

by Richard RoweUpdated November 07, 2017
itstillruns article image
sports car rim image by Lario Tus from

Items you will need

  • Stock tire jack and lug wrench

  • Spare tire

Established in 2002, Scion was originally destined to become Toyota's youth-oriented niche division. Scion specializes in combining the reliability and engineering of their parent company with the styling, accessories and factory customizations popular with younger buyers. Some of Scion's styling quirks have made for unusual engineering solutions, like placing the car's jack and lug wrench under the front seat (as in the Scion xD) or molded into the cardboard trunk floor (as in the Scion tC).

Park the vehicle on a level surface, preferably paved. Place it into park and set the parking brake if so equipped.

Locate the scissor-type jack, lug wrench and spare tire. This may well prove the most difficult part of your tire change, since Toyota tended to hide the necessary tools in out-of-the-way places. Look under your trunk mat for the cardboard spare tire cover, behind the driver side trim panel in the trunk or slide your driver seat forward and look underneath. If all else fails, consult your owner's manual.

Slip the collapsed scissor-jack under the lift pads on your car's frame. You can find these lift pads just under the doors ahead of the rear tires and just behind the front wheels.

Expand the jack by turning the screw mechanism by hand. Keep turning until the pad on top of the jack comes into contact with the bottom of the car.

Remove the wheel cover (if so equipped) by gently sliding the flattened end of your lug wrench between the edge of the wheel cover and the wheel. Give the lug wrench a slight twist after insertion to pop the cover out and work your way around the wheel until it comes off.

Slide the hex end of the lug wrench over the lug nuts and apply torque until the nuts break loose (about 1/2 turn).

Insert the pointed end of the lug wrench into the hole in the jack screw and use it for leverage to turn the screw clockwise. Keep turning until the affected tire is completely off the ground by one to two inches.

Remove the lug nuts and then wiggle the tire free.

Slide the emergency spare or full-size spare onto the wheel studs and thread the nuts on. Install them in a star-pattern (as opposed to clockwise or counter-clockwise around the wheel), wiggling the wheel inward toward the car as you tighten them with your fingers.

Insert the lug wrench back into the jack and turn the screw counter-clockwise until the new tire rests on the ground. Tighten then lug nuts with the wrench until you feel resistance. Give the lug wrench one or two quick jerks until you hear the nut emit a pronounced squeak. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern, then go back again and make sure they're tight.

Line the notch on the inside of the wheel cover up with the valve stem on the wheel and press the wheel cover against the wheel. Smack the opposite edge of the wheel cover with the palm of your hand until it wedges in the wheel. Move around the wheel cover smacking around its perimeter until the cover locks in place.

Put the old tire in your Scion and re-install the jack and lug wrench in their original locations.

More Articles

article divider