The Ultimate Dummy Guide: How To Remove A Tire From A Rim (With And Without A Machine)

Tires are just as crucial as the engine when it comes to maintaining your car’s safety and performance. At some point, however, tires wear out and this compromises the car’s efficiency, especially in traction and braking ability which can potentially lead to fatal road accidents.

If any of your tires exhibit a pattern of excessive wear, it’s about time you change them. Changing tires involves taking off the rubber tread that is tucked inside the wheel’s rim, a grunt work that many would rather pass and hand to a mechanic.

But what if we tell you, popping the bead out of the rim is not too much of a mundane job if you are armed with the in-depth information on how to do so. Doing your own tires will save you a lot of money from costly repairs that should be otherwise spent wisely spent on other car-related maintenance.

With few hand tools and tricks, you can remove the bead off the rim yourself. But the easiest and quickest way to do it is by using a tire-changing machine. This article will cover both of these methods.


Prying the tire loose from the rim might sound intimidating especially if you are a novice or new to tire maintenance. But you don’t really have to be an auto mechanic or expert to do the task.  All you need is the right tools, basic mechanic skills, and know-how. The following is an easy guide to carry out the goal.

What you will need:

     Lubricant (Alternative: liquid dish soap or oil)

     Crowbar, Prybar, Tire Levers, Tire iron (any of these)

     Presta or Schnader or any Valve Core Removal Tool (Alternative: Pliers)


     To break the bead manually, you need either one of these things: a Jack, a Knife or any other sharp cutting tool, a vehicle

     Optional: Tire Bead Breaker, Tape

The Procedure:

  1. Using the core removal tool, deflate the tire by removing the air cap from the tire. The air cap or valve core is a small pressure sealing device made of either rubber or metal cylinder located on the core which is where the tire is inflated from.  You will need a Schrader or Presta valve tool to extract the air cap from the rim.

Thread the tool inside the valve stem and twist it in a counterclockwise direction. This should loosen and remove the cap off the tire. Then release and allow the air to exhaust.   

A valve core removal tool is a small metal that resembles a small screwdriver. It is a handy tool that is relatively inexpensive and often available in a set for different valve sizes like that of the Awpeye 4 Pack Valve Core Remover Tool. 

  1. De-bead the tire. Now comes the main and crucial part of the disengaging the bead off the rim. The bead is basically the edge of the tread near the inner circle reinforced firmly against the rim through braided steel cable and strong glue. There are three methods and tricks you can use to break the bead bundle between the bead and the rim.

     Drive and run over the tire you are working on. The aim is to force the rubber down so its easier for the bead to pop out. Hence when driving your vehicle over the tire, make sure that it is the rubber part you are driving onto and not the metal rim. You may need to run the car over it a few times to break the rubber part.

     Put the whole weight of the vehicle on the tire via suspension. The method involves raising the vehicle using a  jack and partially lowering it. Once the vehicle is lifted, place the tire underneath the jack. Adjust the jack and lower the vehicle onto the bead part of the tire. Warning: Do not attempt this method if you are new to the process of car suspension unless there is an expert or professional supervision. The procedure requires lifting a car and working underneath it which is can be really dangerous to you and to your vehicle especially if you don’t know what you are doing.

     Cut the bead off the rim. You can cut through with it using a saw blade or a drywall knife.    To cut it, follow the seam running alongside the bead, carefully not touching the metal rim. Be cautious as you cut because you don’t want to damage the metal rim To avoid the blade veering towards the tread, insert a wooden towel in the sections that are already cut. 

If you are really having a hard time with the bead, you can easily get away with a bead breaker tool. A tire bead breaker is a handy tool designed to dismount the innermost diameter of the tire interfacing the wheel. The operation is so fast and easy it’s basically like opening a canned good! It’s also the safest way to de-bead without damaging the rim. To make the most of your purchase, invest in a well-designed bead breaker like that of BeadBuster XB-450. To date, this is the most affordable and efficient bead breaker.

  1. Lubricate the edge of the rim. Once you have managed to break the bead, grease the edge around the rim as well as the bead by applying the lubricant. This will prep the area when prying the tire later on. You will find it easier to pop the bead off the lip of the rim easily once everything is lubricated. Use as much as a lubricant as necessary. To avoid accidentally scratching the metal easily while prying, you can also tape the edge of the rim prior to lubrication. 
  1. Wedge open the space between the tire and the rim using a pry bar and screwdrivers. Firstly, lay the tire flat on the ground. By stepping on the rubber or pressing a force, push the rubber down to create an opening. Gently jam the pry bar on the opening then carefully lift the bead until it is above the rim. Hold it in place. While the pry bar is holding the bead in place, work your way to bead up the other half by using a screwdriver.
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  2. Continue prying on the other half.  At this point, it is only the bottom half that is loosened, you still have to work on the other half of the tire. So to do this, flip the wheel over on the other side and pry in the wheel off in the same fashion as you were prying in step 4. Use as many pry and screwdriver alongside lubricant as necessary.
  3. Take the metal rim out of the rubber. The entire half of the tire should be fully loosened at this point so all you need to do is grab the rim and pull it as far as you can until the bead is free



If you find taking a tire off a rim by hands too much of a task, time to pull out the big weapon. A tire changing machine skips most of the lengthy process of manually separating the tire from the rim.

Note that the tire changing machine we are referring to differs from that of the actual heavy-duty tire changing equipment technicians used in the shop. The manual tire changing machine is a rather portable and handy tool that requires no power hookups to operate. While the machine will mostly do the job, you will still need the help of a few hand tools.

What you will need:

     Plywood Board (Alternative: any strong wood surface that is at least ¾ inches thick)

     Manual Tire Changing Machine

     Tire Changing Rod (Alternative: any metal rod or tube with a pointed tip)


     Bolts (preferably 5 inches long and ½ inch wide)

     Presta or Schnader or any Valve Core Removal Tool (Alternative: Pliers)

     Marker or Pencil

     Lubricant (Alternative: liquid dish soap or oil)

     Optional: rug or paper        

The Procedure:

  1. Set the plywood base. The goal is to create a platform strong enough for the machine to stand on. First, you need to place the machine on top of the plywood. Using a marker, trace the machine’s base on the platform. Do put a mark on the holes or the location of the bolt as well.

Some prefer a block of concrete as a base because they are sturdier and stable. Others drill the machine directly on the floor. But note that you will need a mason drill to engage the bolts into hard cement. Nonetheless, the bolting process is the same as with the wood material.

  1. Secure the machine on the platform by bolting it.  Now its time to screw the bolts and the machine into it the holes that you marked up. Obviously, you will need a screwdriver to do it. Placed the machined on top of the traced base and position the bolts properly. If you haven’t used a screwdriver before, you need to hold the tool with both of your hands, with the dominant hand on the handle and the other hand on the metal tip. Apply a decent force as you turn the screwdriver clockwise. Twist it until the bolts are tightened fully and bite into the wood.
  1. Take the air off the tire by removing the core valve. The air or the core valve is that black rubber or metallic spoke sticking out the front end of the rim. Twist the air cap counterclockwise until fully removed. Insert the core valve removal tool into the valve and twist it counterclockwise until the valve stem is removed.
  1. Set the tire on the machine and clamp it in place. First, you need to look for the machine’s nub which is that small triangle shape on the base. This is where you will lay the wheel flat with the front of the rim facing upward. Once the wheel is rested on the nub, hook the tire changer arm (that wedge that looks like a bulldozer’s lift cylinder) on top of the rubber. Then use the clamp to hold it in place.
  1. Brake the tire bead from the rim using the tire changing rod. There should be a changing rod that comes with your tire changing machine but any regular metal tube with a pointed end will do. You will use it to expose the rim of the tire. Start the process by sticking the rod’s pointed end into the rim-tire joint. Using your hand or your foot, apply pressure on the wedge by pushing it down. This will gradually exposed the rim.
  1. Turn over the wheel and repeat steps 4 and 5. The other half lip has the rim exposed but you are still stuck with the backside of the rim. So flip your wheel to the other side. Place it on the nub and clamp it to the machine. In the same manner, push the arm down and expose the rim of the wedge using the metal rod.
  1. Lay the tire on that cylindrical disc-like metal located on the top of the machine. To do this, follow the below steps.
    1. Insert the tire into the big spoke. The big spoke or central spoke is the central tube where the machine arms are attached. There should be smaller stick-like spoke beside the central spoke so make sure that as you slide the metal rim,  the tire passes through the smaller spoke by aligning it into the lug nut. To avoid scratches on the rim while inserting the rim, you can wrap a rug or any cloth (a paper may do) around the spoke.
    1. Slide in the bracket piece into the central spoke. The bracket is that a metal piece that secures the tire from tilting or turning while you are pulling the bead up later on.
    1. Attach the top cap. The cap is that the cylinder cover of the central spoke. Twist it clockwise to secure it in place. To tighten it further, you may use the machine’s separate rod. Simply engage rod’s end (the one with rectangular tip) with the cap’s hook and twist it clockwise to screw it in place. 
  1.  Pour the lubricant around the rim. This will make it easier for you to pry the rim of the bead later on. Make sure the area underneath the rim are also lubricated so partially lift the rim up to reach under it.  Apply generous amount lubrication as necessary.
  1. Using the tire changing rod, pry the tire over the lip of the rim. Insert the rod’s duck-head end down the circumference of the tire. Still holding the rod, lift the bottom bead of the tire up. Work your way on the other angles as you slide the rod on the clockwise motion until all side are loosened or until the tread is loose enough to pop the bead off.

You may not be able to pry a certain section in one shot and that is fine. If this happens,  simply go back by lifting the foot pedal using your foot to turn the rod counterclockwise.

  1. Free the entire tread of the rim. Get the tire all the way up by sliding the rod all the way down to the bottom section of the wheel. Then pry the bottom side until you can fully lift the tire out of the rim.

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Now it’s all in your hands.

This article has thoroughly discussed the process of disengaging the tire from the rim and now it’s your turn to take the wheel. Sure, the entire process of changing your own tire– from removing the wheel of the vehicle to fitting new tires might seem lengthy and complicated but hey at least we have taken down one of its processes, namely removing the tire off the wheel. Doing your own tires will save you money and soon enough, you will be reaping the satisfying feeling of your hard work.  

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