Love your spare tire

tire1

 

This is my spare tire.

I just retrieved my regular tire from the tire place. My daughter discovered a roofing nail sticking out of the tire when I commented that it looked a little low. The nice man at the tire place patched the hole, good as new.

And I will be very glad to replace this ugly beast with the real tire.

Have you ever changed a flat tire?

Me neither.

For the first few years of my life, my dad tended to those sorts of crises.

AAA handled problems in my early 20s, which included a failed alternator in the middle of a three-lane highway. My black lab and I walked down the side of the highway on New Year’s Eve afternoon until we found a small factory. The lone worker let me use the phone (I didn’t carry a cell phone back in 1995.) Note: it’s difficult to find a tow truck driver willing to haul a broken down pick-up, its passenger and her 100-pound puppy.

Since 1998, Farmguy has handled the various automobile conundrums.

But not this time.

I determined to change this tire. It’s something every woman should know how to do. Right?

 

I don’t like being a damsel in distress.

 

tire2

 

I asked Farmguy to tell me how to change a tire. I hate reading directions — I wasn’t about to decipher the step-by-step photo instructions included in the tire iron bag.

 

 

tire4

 

Step 1: Block the tires. Find a rock, brick — whatever, and put one or two in front of your tires so the car doesn’t accidentally roll. I don’t see how it could since it’s in park, but hey — I followed my instructor’s instructions.

Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts with the tire iron. It’s a white-knuckle job, but put your back into it.

 

 

tire5

 

Step 3: Place the jack under the car. Mine is situated nicely under a sort of jack plate with an indent for proper positioning. Your vehicle may be different. You may have to read the directions. I’m sorry.

Note: Changing a tire was much simpler on a concrete floor with proper lighting and satisfactory weather conditions. I even had a piece of cardboard to lay on while I crawled under the car to position the jack.

It may be a more difficult process if you’re dressed in your Sunday best and you must crawl under your car parked on the side of a muddy road in the middle of a downpour. Again, I’m sorry.

 

 

tire6

 

Step 4: Pump the jack handle until the tire is a few inches off the ground. If, like me, you own a vehicle that requires you to crawl underneath, be careful not to smash your knuckles on the underside of the car. It hurts. I’m sorry.

Step 5: Grab the tire iron and remove the rest of the lug nuts.

 

 

tire7

 

Step 6: Pull the tire off the hub.

 

 

tire8

 

Step 7: Put the new tire on the hub. It’s a little tricky getting the holes lined up with the bolts. Grab a lug nut from the small hand of your trusty assistant, and hand-tighten one or two to secure the tire.

Then grab your tire iron and start tightening all of the lug nuts. Start with one, then tighten the one opposite. Work in this manner until all are tightened.

 

 

tire9

 

Step 8: Stand back and admire your work.

 

There you have it … you have witnessed my very first tire change. It wasn’t as difficult as I imagined … but I had a good teacher.  Thanks Farmguy.

I hope I don’t have to do it again in the near future, but at least I have the comfort of knowing I could if I needed to. And that’s all that matters.

No damsels in distress around here!

At least … not at the moment.

 

 

2 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Michelle April 12, 2010 (10:43 pm)

    Good for you. Our Dad made it a requirement for us to test for our license – know how to check tire pressure; know how to check fluids – oil, transmission, brake, and power steering, and how to change a flat – if you couldn’t do that, then you didn’t get to test for your license

  • comment-avatar
    Mary Poppins April 14, 2010 (6:49 am)

    Sounds like you’re all ready for NASCAR!!!