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Do you want to remove a tire from a rim but you are confused as to how to go about it? This article will guide you through.

Removing a tire from a rim is not as complicated as it appears. You just need to jack the car up, remove the wheel of the car, deflate the tire, break the bead, and apply lubricants on the edge of both the rim and the bead. From there, you simply need to pry it off using pry bars.

In this article, we will walk you through the entire process of how to remove a tire from a rim. We’ve broken the process into simple steps, making it easy to follow. So, if you are looking to remove a tire from a rim, this guide has all the information you need.

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Table of Contents


Regardless of expensive or how well you look after your tires, they are going to wear out at some point. And once they wear out, they will significantly compromise your vehicle’s handling and safety. For instance, they may no longer provide sufficient grip and traction. And, this can lead to fatal crashes.

So, once your tires wear out to their maintenance indicators, it will be highly advisable to change them and replace them with a new set. As you may expect, changing the tire will entail removing it from the rim and replacing it with a new one.

And while changing a tire may appear like too much work, you can easily do it. You can either remove a tire from a rim by hand or you can use a machine. In this guide, we will take you through how to remove a tire from a rim by hand. With that said, let’s jump straight in.

Removing a Tire from a Rim

When it’s time to change your tire, you don’t always have to take your vehicle to the tire shop. Also, you don’t need to be a vehicle mechanic or even an expert. You simply need a particular set of tools, follow the steps below and you will be done within a couple of minutes. Some of the tools that you will need to remove a tire from a rim by hand include:

  • A car jack
  • Pry bar
  • Tire bead breaker
  • Screwdrivers
  • Lubricant
  • Wrenches
  • Valve core removal

Once you’ve gathered these tools, it’s now time to remove the tire from the rim. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Find a Nice Spot

Before you begin removing the tire from the rim, you should first identify a nice spot. IF you are at home, then your garage or driveway should be ideal. If you happen to develop a flat when you are out there driving, then you should find a spot where you can do the work comfortably. Ideally, the spot should have some cover, to shield you against the elements.

Jack the Car Up

After identifying a nice spot, you then need to shift your vehicle into then the neutral. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, then you simply need to put it in parking mode. From there, you need to activate the handbrake, turn off the ignition and exit it.

In case your vehicle has air suspension or has a hydraulic, it will be advisable to put the system in service mode. Doing so will prevent issues with the system once you begin jacking your vehicle up.

From there, you will then use your jack to jack the car up. Once it’s up, you should then place some sturdy items beneath the tire such as a tree stump or a piece of solid rock. Once these items are in position, you can then lower your vehicle so that it rests on them. It’s not advisable to work on the vehicle when it’s only supported by the jack.  

Remove the Wheel

Once your car is lifted and it’s safely resting on the lifting items you’ve placed under it, it’s now time to remove the wheel. You will use the right wrench to loosen the wheel bolts, depending on their sizes. If you can locate an electrical socket wrench, then the better, since it will get the job done faster. After all the nuts are loose, you should remove them one by one and then remove the wheel from the vehicle.

Deflate the Tire

It’s almost impossible to remove a tire from a rim if it’s still inflated. Unless the tire’s already flat, you will first need to deflate it. To deflate the tire, you will need to locate its air valve. The air valve is basically a small rubber or metal spoke, protruding from the tire.

Once you’ve located the air valve, you should then remove the cap, by turning it anticlockwise. After removing the air valve cap, you will now require your valve core removal tool. You will insert this tool into the valve and turn it anticlockwise. You should do this until the valve core comes off.  Removing the valve makes it easier and faster to deflate the tire.

Break the Bead

This may be the most challenging step that you will encounter when removing the tire from the rim. The bead is the tire’s edge that is wedged firmly inside the rim. There are several methods that you can use to break the bed.

First, you can use a bead breaker. If you happen to have a tire bead breaker, you can use it to de-bead the tire. You simply need to check for weak spots all around the rim, insert the bead breaker and then move it along the entire bead. You will repeat this process for both sides of the tire. A pointed crowbar can also get the job done, in case you don’t have a bead breaker. You will use the same approach as if you were using a bead breaker.

Second, you can also run your vehicle over the tire. Running your vehicle repeatedly over the rubber will force the bead to come off. However, you should be extra cautious when you are using this method. Ensure you don’t touch the rim, since you can bend or break it, leading to irreversible damage. You should also note that you can’t re-use a tire that you’ve driven over.

Third, you can also break the bead using a jack. You simply need to place the jack on the rubber section of the wheel, and position the jack under your vehicle’s front grill guard, if it has some. You will then jack up as if you were lifting a vehicle. And as you do so, the downward pressure applied on the tire by the jack will help to break the bead. Again, you should be careful when using this method to make sure the jack doesn’t slide and damage the rim.

Another method that you can use to de-bead the tire is to cut off the bead using a drywall knife or saw blade. When cutting off the bead, you should make sure you follow the seam that you will see running alongside it. You need to be extra cautious to make sure the blade or knife that you are using doesn’t veer off. If it veers off, it may end up damaging the rim, leading to costly replacements.

Apply Lubricants

Once you’ve managed to de-bead the tire, you should then apply lubricants along the edge of the rim. You should also apply grease or any other lubricant that you may be using along the tire’s bead. Applying some lubricant both on the bead and on along the edge of the rim will make your work easier when it’s time to pop it from the rim. The more lubricant you apply, the easier it will be for you when you are prying the tire off the rim. So, apply it generously.

In case you don’t have a lubricant, you can use a homemade dishwasher. Again, apply the homemade dishwasher evenly on both the tire’s bead and the edge of the rim. And from there, the tire’s now ready to be separated from the rim.

Pry the Tire Off

After applying the lubrication, you should then place the tire on flat ground. You will then insert a pry bar or crowbar at any position along the edge of the bead and then begin prying underneath the rubber. You will then lift it gently until the bead separates from the rim.

But, don’t just shove or jam the pry in there, as you may end up damaging the rim. As you pry the tire off, you will also need to protect the rim. To do so, you should consider placing a bike’s rubber tube or a piece of cloth under the pry bar, as you work your way around it.

Once you’ve finished prying off the top section, you will also need to repeat the process for the bottom section. So, you will need to flip your wheel over and repeat the same process. Continue doing it until the entire rim comes out. From there, you can then mount a new tire on the rim.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, removing a tire from a rim is not as complicated or confusing as it may appear. You simply need to gather the right tools for the job and follow the steps that we’ve outlined in this article.

How To Remove a Tire From a Rim

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

Read More About Charles Redding