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Without a minute to spare

A step-by-step guide on how to change a flat in no time flat

A step-by-step guide on how to change a flat in no time flat

May 17, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

Wayne Violet wants people to stop thinking of mechanics as just a bunch of grease monkeys. There's a lot more than grease to auto maintenance nowadays.

As teacher of the automotive technology classes at Washington County Technical High School, he's educating the next generation of automobile technicians. Even since his juniors and seniors were born in the 1990s, there have been many advances in the way cars are made.

"There's now electrical and hybrid vehicles," Violet said.

In his classes, students get hands-on experience with real cars learning how to properly repair them. But for today's automobile technicians, there's a whole lot of book work involved, such as learning about new computerized systems for automobiles and trucks.

Violet says his ultimate goal is to get the student prepared in order to take their Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

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But with all the new electronic gizmos and gadgets, there's one auto problem that remains universal - sooner or later there's bound to be a flat tire.

Knowing the proper way to change a flat is not only useful when you blow a tire in the middle of No-Cell-Phone-Bars-Ville, but it can also mean safety.

Alex Garvin, 17, of Hagerstown, is a junior at the school. He says he got into the automotive technology class because he enjoys working with cards.

"I kind of grew up around it," he says, noting that his dad rides in demolition derbies.

Alex demonstrated how to change a tire on a 1996 Hyundai Accent.

A spare tire isn't meant to be a long-term fix. "Most spare tires aren't meant to be driven over 45 miles per hour," Violet said.

Actually, he said, driving on a spare at a high rate of speed, the tire will overheat and come apart. "They're not meant to last long," he said.

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