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Most if not all guides I've read advise having your parking brakes on while putting tires on your car. However, I was advised that having the parking brakes on can possibly make the lug nuts seem tighter than they are, so they should be left off when working on the rear tires, and that since the rear tires are in the air anyway, they don't help stop the car from moving.

Should parking brakes be disengaged when changing the rear tires?

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Having the parking brake on while changing tires is a safety thing, it has nothing to do with how tight you make the nuts. The parking brake is there to keep the car from rolling while you change the tires. While the rear wheels are off the ground the parking brake doesn't do anything of course, but when you lower the car it will keep it from moving.

The right way to tighten the nuts is to use a torque wrench to the manufacturer's specification, but whether you use a torque wrench or a tire iron you would still do a final tighten of the nuts after the car has been lowered.

So should you use the parking brake when changing tires? Yes, but for safety.

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