50° F

The ABCs of changing a tire

Published On: May 24 2012 03:36:31 PM EDT   Updated On: May 24 2012 06:14:46 PM EDT

Can you change a tire?


Millions of people plan to hit the road for the Memorial Day holiday, but your trip can easily fall flat.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, AAA changes more than one million tires.

Paul Rinehart, of TRAC Tiny Rinehart Auto Center in Cumru Twp., Berks Co., said many people don't know how to change a tire.


So how do you do it?  "First, get the owner's manual and find out where everything is," Rinehart said.

Your tools and jack typically are in the back of the car.  Once you've got those and you've found a safe place to park, set your jack and loosen the tire's lug nuts.

"Lot of times have to step on it and use your body weight to get it loose," Rinehart said.

Next, spin the jack until your car is an inch to a half-inch off the ground.

"For a personal safety thing, I put the tire underneath in case the car does fall, it's on the tire and not you," tire expert Ray Ohlinger said.

The nuts come off, the spare goes on and the lug nuts are put in place. Ohlinger recommends using a criss-cross pattern to tighten them.

"So rim goes on evenly, he said. "If not, will be crooked and feel it down the road."

Drop the jack, tighten the nuts once more, put your tools away and within a half hour you should be good to go.