How Do I Change a Flat Tire In My Subaru? | Subaru Tire-Changing Safety Tips | What Tools Do I Need to Change A Flat Tire?

With the new 2013 Subaru models came several revisions to the Subaru Owner's Manuals. Among the updates are several "How To" sections, including how to change your oil and how to change a flat tire.  The information below comes directly from the 2013 Subaru Outback/Legacy Owner's Manual. (Find Your Complete Owner's Manual at

If you have a flat tire while driving, never brake suddenly; keep driving straight ahead while gradually reducing speed. Then slowly pull off the road to a safe place. Once off the road, and if you feel confident in your abilities to change a flat tire on your own, please follow the steps below. In the event of inclement weather or if you are otherwise unable to change the flat tire, contact Subaru Roadside Assistance. For future reference, please note:  This number can be easily obtained on our new mobile site (and dialed directly with one-touch dialing) under the Service menu.

Subaru Roadside Assistance Comes Standard on All Subaru Models after Model Year 2000. They will:

  • Tow to the nearest authorized Subaru dealer if you cannot safely drive your vehicle.
  • Jump-start if your battery is dead.
  • Gasoline delivery if you run out of gas.
  • Flat tire change to install your spare.
  • Emergency lockout service.

If you are going to change your own flat tire, lets first go over important safety information about the spare tire and maintenance tools.

Never tow a trailer when the temporary spare tire is used. The temporary spare tire is not designed to sustain the towing load. Use of the temporary spare tire when towing can result in failure of the spare tire and/or less stability of the vehicle and may lead to an accident.

When a spare tire is mounted or a wheel rim is replaced without the original pressure sensor/transmitter being transferred, the low tire pressure warning light will illuminate steadily after blinking for approximately one minute. This indicates the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is unable to monitor all four road wheels. Contact your SUBARU dealer as soon as possible for tire and sensor replacement and/ or system resetting. Contact Stanley Subaru Service Department at 800-439-8989.

Never use any temporary spare tire other than the original. Using other sizes may result in severe mechanical damage to the drive train of your vehicle.

The temporary spare tire is smaller and lighter than a conventional tire and is designed for emergency use only. Remove the temporary spare tire and re-install the conventional tire as soon as possible because the spare tire is designed only for temporary use.

Check the inflation pressure of the temporary spare tire periodically to keep the tire ready for use.
The correct pressure is 60 psi (420 kPa, 4.2 kgf/cm2).

When using the temporary spare tire, note the following precautions:
  • Do not exceed 50 mph (80 km/h).
  • Do not put a tire chain on the temporary spare tire. Because of the smaller tire size, a tire chain will not fit properly.
  • Do not use two or more temporary spare tires at the same time.
  • Do not drive over obstacles. This tire has a smaller diameter, so road clearance is reduced.
  • When the wear indicator appears on the tread, replace the tire.
  • The temporary spare tire must be used only on a rear wheel. If a front wheel tire gets punctured, replace the wheel with a rear wheel and install the temporary spare tire in place of the removed rear wheel.


Maintenance Tools
  • Your vehicle is equipped with the following maintenance tools:
  • Jack 
  • Jack handle
  • Screwdriver   
  • Towing hook (eye bolt) (if equipped)  
  • Wheel nut wrench 
  • Electronic parking brake release tool 
  • Torque wrench (Outback) 

The torque wrench is designed to be used only when changing the position of the crossbar. Do not use the torque wrench in other cases. Otherwise, the torque wrench may be deformed.


1)    Under-floor storage compartment
2)    Electronic parking brake release tool
3)    Jack handle
4)    Spare tire
5)    Tool bucket



The jack handle is stored on the back of the floor cover of the trunk. The electronic parking brake release tool is stored under the floor of the trunk. The other tools are stored in the tool bucket that is located in the recess of the spare tire wheel.

1)    Under-floor storage compartment
2)    Electronic parking brake release tool
3)    Jack handle
4)    Spare tire
5)    Tool bucket


The jack handle is stored under the cargo area. The electronic parking brake release tool is stored under the floor of the cargo area. The other tools are stored in the tool bucket that is located in the recess of the
spare tire wheel.

How To Change A Flat Tire On Your Subaru

Do not jack up the vehicle on an incline or a loose road surface. The jack can come out of the jacking point or sink into the ground and this can result in a serious accident.

Use only the jack provided with your vehicle. The jack supplied with the vehicle is designed only for changing a tire. Never get under the vehicle while supporting the vehicle with this jack.

Always turn off the engine before raising the flat tire off the ground using the jack. Never swing or push the vehicle supported with the jack. The jack can come out of the jacking point due to a jolt and this can result in a serious accident.

1. Park on a hard, level surface, when- ever possible, then stop the engine. 2. Apply the parking brake and shift the shift lever in reverse (MT models) or the select lever in the "P" (Park) position (AT and CVT models).

3. Turn on the hazard warning flasher and have everyone get out of the vehicle.

4. Put wheel blocks at the front and rear of the tire diagonally opposite the flat tire.


5. Take out the jack, jack handle and wheel nut wrench. The tools and the spare tire are stored under the floor of the trunk (Legacy) or the cargo area (Outback).

6. Take out the tool bucket and turn the attaching bolt counterclockwise, then take the spare tire out.

7.Loosen the wheel nuts using the wheel nut wrench but do not remove the nuts.


8. Place the jack under the side sill at the front or rear jack-up point closest to the flat tire.
Turn the jackscrew by hand until the jack head engages firmly into the jack-up point.

9. Insert the jack handle into the jack- screw, and turn the handle until the tire clears the ground. Do not raise the vehicle higher than necessary.

10. Remove the wheel nuts and the flat tire.

11. Before putting the spare tire on, clean the mounting surface of the wheel and hub with a cloth.


12.Put on the spare tire. Replace the wheel nuts. Tighten them by hand.

Do not use oil or grease on the wheel studs or nuts when the spare tire is installed. This could cause the nuts to become loose and lead to an accident.

13. Turn the jack handle counterclockwise to lower the vehicle.


14. Use the wheel nut wrench to securely tighten the wheel nuts to the specified torque, following the tightening order in the illustration:


Never use your foot on the wheel nut wrench or a pipe extension on the wrench because you may exceed the specified torque. Have the wheel nut torque checked at the nearest automotive service facility.

15. Store the flat tire in the spare tire compartment. Put the spacer and tighten the attaching bolt firmly.
Also store the jack and jack handle in their storage locations.


Never place a tire or tire changing tools in the passenger compartment after changing wheels. In a sudden stop or collision, loose equipment could strike occupants and cause injury. Store the tire and all tools in the proper place

For complete details, instructions, warnings and precautions, please refer to your Owner's Manual. Online Access to the Subaru Vehicles Owner's Manuals, go to and click on For Owners.


Have more questions? Need to know what other stuff means? Check out the Technical Schmecnical tag or try our FAQ.
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