How to Change the Tire on a Mazda Tribute

by Kate EvelynUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Lug wrench

  • Lug nuts

  • Spare tire

The trouble with changing the tire on a Mazda Tribute is figuring out how to get started. It can be tricky to determine how to remove the spare tire from the vehicle. Instead of sitting under the trunk carpeting, it is actually underneath the vehicle itself. People who don’t know this and end up with a flat tire may find themselves at a loss of what to do.

Park the Tribute on as level a surface as possible and out of the danger of traffic. Put the car in "Park" if it’s an automatic or in "Reverse" if it is a manual. Engage the parking break.

Open the hatch and find your jack and lug wrench. Depending on the options on your Tribute, it will either be under the carpeted floor near the lift gate or on the right-hand side of the cargo area behind an access panel in the side wall. Remove the tools by unbuckling and pulling out the strap or releasing the screw on the bracket, respectively. Pull the lug wrench off the jack so you can use it to get your spare tire.

Close the hatch and look for a hole in the middle of the right half of the bumper that is slightly larger than the head of your lug wrench. Insert the head of the wrench into this hole and turn it counterclockwise. This will release the tire from underneath the vehicle. Pull it off of the suspension cable, unscrewing the tether with the lug wrench if it has one.

Use your lug wrench to turn each lug nut on the flat tire counterclockwise half a turn.

Look for the jacking notches on your vehicle, which are small indentations underneath its frame. There is one in front of each rear tire and one behind each front tire. Put your jack underneath the appropriate notch and turn its handle clockwise until you have the flat tire an inch off the ground.

Turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until they are completely off. Pull off your flat tire and replace it with the spare tire. The valve stem should face towards you and the tire should be flush with the wheel hub. Tighten the lug nuts halfway by turning the lug wrench clockwise. Turn the handle of the jack counterclockwise to lower the vehicle. Then tighten the lug nuts the rest of the way.


Check your owner's manual for more details on your specific model year of Tribute.


Some Tributes have full spares, while others have smaller tires, or “donuts.” You should drive on these smaller tiles as little as possible and not at excessive speeds.

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