How to remove my '96 Buick Roadmaster tire?

It’ll probably become apparent that I don’t have a lot of experience with cars, but I need to change the tire on my '96 Buick Roadmaster. There’s an unfamiliar thing holding the tire in place (album of photos here: and the tire change toolkit that comes with the car is missing a couple things and only has a jack and a lug wrench.

How do I remove/replace the thing holding the tire in place? If I need a particular tool, would I be able to find it at an auto parts store and if so what should I ask for? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Do not touch the large nut in the center of the wheel if you are changing a flat tire.
That nut (with integral cotter pin) is only removed if you are doing brake work or other mechanical repairs.

Use the lug wrench to remove the five lug nuts which appear to be partially concealed by snow.

I assume you’re referring to the large nut in the middle. That’s the axle spindle nut. You don’t remove it to change a tire. You remove the five nuts surrounding it. Incidentally, that large nut should have a dust cap over it to protect the wheel bearings from dirt. It’s missing.

If you do not know which nut to remove, I STRONGLY urge you to find somebody that does to help you change the tire. You could EASILY injure yourself if you do it wrong.

Because you said that you are unfamiliar with cars.

First there should be a large decal somewhere near where the spare is stored that will show you the jacking points to do this safely. Have the car in park, on level ground, engine off and key out of the ignition.
Get the jack in place and raised the jack until it is just snug against the underside of the car.
Then use the lug wrench to loosen the 5 lug nuts Counter clockwise just ONE TURN…no more.
Now using the jack, raise the jack until you can feel the tire wiggle enough that it is off the ground.

Double check your jack to be sure it is straight and level…not leaning. If it doesn’t look right, lower the jack and redo it. A safety measure I use is to slide the spare under the car 1/2 way in case the car does drop. Once you pull the flat off…switch that with the spare…using the flat 1/2 way under as safety.

Next remove the lug nuts the rest of the way and once off the wheel and tire should come right off.

Hint…Sometimes you need to kick the tire to break a stuck wheel free from the axle.

Put the spare on and snug up the lug nuts the best you can. Then you will have to leave the jack down enough so the tire does not rotate while you try to tighten the nuts.
Tighten them in a pattern …I cant think of a better way to explain this… top nut is #1 and imagine numbers clockwise 1-5. Tighten them 1-3-5-4-2 and repeat until you are sure they are tight.
Remove the flat from under the car that was for safety and lower the jack.

Take the tire for repair and ask them if they will just check the tightness of the lugs.
Then you can make an appointment to have them put the repaired tire back on.


Yosemite has provided excellent, comprehensive advice, but I just want to add a proviso.
If the wheel is stuck and necessitates kicking in order to loosen it, I strongly suggest that the jack be lowered so that the tire is just barely contacting the ground. That way, if the OP happens to push the car off of the jack, it is less likely to result in damage to him or to other things.

I’ve never used the jack on my 1993 Caprice (same chassis as the Roadmaster). I use a hydraulic floor jack and jackstands on a vehicle this big.

I do the same, but…Do you really think that the OP–who doesn’t know how to remove a tire–owns a hydraulic floor jack, or that he is likely to buy one?

Just to add to my previous post. My real concern is that jacking it up on such a snowy surface can be really dangerous, especially for someone with no experience. I would suggest professional help.

If you can, please drive the car to a mechanic (click on Mechanics Files above for ones in your area) or have a tow truck come out and take the car in. As several have said above, the 5 nuts are to be removed to take the tire off. Not sure if the cap over the large nut in the middle was take off for the photo or if it is missing. You need that in place to keep dirt from damaging the bearings. Your mechanic can take care of that for you too. Good luck.

IF… you are still going to do this youself…
In what condition is the spare on a car this age ? Does it even have air in it ? is the rubber surface cracked and broken ? You may not even have a spare to put on it.
you are jacking the car yourself…and even though it’s in park…
get a couple rocks to put under the tire on the opposite side of the car in the rear so the car does not rock back and forth.
I must reitterate ( does anyone just itterate ? )
Leave the car on the ground !
To break free the tight lug nuts the first time…
Leave the car on the ground.
only after they’re loosened to finger easy do you raise the jack.

grease cap missing ;
Bearings can’t be much good now either.
Maybe …just maybe they could be re-packed and a cap put back on…
again you need to be at a shop for this too…and be prepared for new bearings, seal, grease and cap.

My daughter had a flat on her mustang just west of Albuquerque and hopped out to begin the changing of the tire.
A state cop pulled up to see if she needed assistance.
’‘no thanks, I got this, dad taught me.’’
’‘well, I’ll just stick around for you safety and maybe help if you want it.’’
’‘Thanks…could you go over there and bring a couple of rocks ? :)’’

Why would a novice remove the dust cover when the lugnuts are visible?

Hmmm? I wonder if it’s because they’re a novice?


The cap has been off for some time, not just today. look at all the snow in there and the lack of grease…and the lack of any mention fom the o.p. about that foreign object that would have been dealt with.

The op apparently has their own PC, smartphone and internet access. Why would they not just use their search engine and watch all the videos on you tube and see how to change the tire?

Sometimes even relatively smart people have the brain turned off. 35 years ago, the national newsletter of Mensa, the high i.q. social club, had an article written by a member. Her sink trap failed, so she put a pail under it to catch the water which otherwise would fall on the bottom under the sink, until the plumber came.

When the bucket got full, she took it up and: POURED IT DOWN THE SINK. No one is exempt from temporary stupidity on rare occasions.

Since I am typing in the box, I am not going back right now. But, unless OP gave more information which I missed, one need not have a computer nor smartphone nor Internet service in his home. Libraries and other places supply free Internet with free computers.

I live in the mountains of Mexico. I live on the edge of the town. East of me be dragons, more or less. People out there have no phones except cell phones, and not many of them. I have wireless Internet. Those young folks have apps on their phones which will find my code for them.

So, they stop and sit on my retaining wall and browse the web. They cannot afford much cybercafe, but if they get a phone which will work on the Web they can use my wireless.

There is a young man out there right now. This is his first time, so I wandered out and told him I minded not at all if my neighbors use my wireless. But, not to invite other lads to join him, because the very attractive young women who pass by my street, which is actually private property, are under my protection. (They are either friends or family.) And, I will not tolerate anyone bothering them when they walk by.

It can take them quite a while to save up for a phone, and if they can fill their Internet needs by sitting on my wall, I don’t mind. (As long as they don’t harrass the 9’s and 10’s who walk by, heh, heh.)

Anyway, you and I know we can find such stuff on the Web, like changing tires. Not all young folks know that, as impossible as it seems.

Because some people aren’t interested in vehicles that have that kind of access.

I once knew a person who was into social media but never did a web search about their vehicle.

Then one day they tried to fill the air in their tires. They continued pumping air into the first tire until it blew off the rim. They thought that the air would stop pumping at the proper pressure. It wasn’t that type of air station.

It’s when things go awry, is when they start using the search engine.


Look to see what ‘mensa’ means in spanish. ( masc ; menso )

just sayin’

If the leak in the trap is small, pouring the water back down the drain makes perfect sense while waiting for the plumber. The bulk of the water would go down the drain.

Actually, if the trap is the only thing leaking, the leak should stop when the trap is drained out. Of course, methane will leak out, but that’s a different question…

When I was a teen, I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a girlfriends house. After dinner, I thought that it was strange that the mother insisted that everyone just put their dirty dishes in the sink…as she would do them later.
I asked the girl if maybe her mom would appreciate her and I getting the dishes clean and out of the way.

That’s when the girl informed me that the trap had gotten a pin hole in it and leaked, so her dad had removed it to replace it, but never got around to finishing. It had been 6 months and the mother would lug the bucket of dirty water outside every time.
And the Dad was a plumber!!!