07 October 2005

Car Knowledge for Non-Car-Guys: Changing tires

I am not a car guy. I know nothing about cars. I have never wanted to know anything about cars.

I once knew a guy who could tell the model of a car just from its headlights in his rear vision mirror. I respected, but did not envy him, his talent.

Until I got a flat tire in the Cross City Tunnel.

There I was, trying to figure out how to change a tire in the middle of a f#$%ing tunnel, wishing I'd paid more attention to such mundane matters.

Guys: you need to know something about cars. Just the basics is enough.

As for myself, I'm off to a basic car maintenance course.

And I will start posting car knowledge for people who should know but don't.

How to change a tire

  1. Don't panic. Act cool. If you've got a hot date in your car, don't be embarrassed. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. How coolly you handle the situation is what's important.
  2. Get off the road. Make sure you have enough room to work without getting hit by a truck.
  3. The spare tire is (hopefully) in the boot. Go this weekend to get the pressure checked. My spare tire was nearly as deflated as the flat one.
  4. There is a machine thing called the jack. There is also a long bent metal rod. You need these to jack up the car. Check it's there today.
  5. There should be a spanner. It is a metal rod with a socket pointing at right angles to the length of the rod. My spanner was hard to find - it was in a bag made of the same material as the inside of the boot. Check it's there today.
  6. Go to near the flat tire. Fiddle with the jack with your fingers until you can see how it works. Use your fingers until it nearly reaches from the ground to the car. Put it under the car. Get the stick. Stick it in. Start turning it until the jack is supporting the car but the car's tire is still touching the ground (I learnt that this is important because the tire grips the ground and holds the wheel still while you undo the nuts).
  7. Get the spanner. Start undoing the nuts. Undo is anti-clockwise. Don't worry if they won't undo at first. Try each of them 3 times - it should work. If not use your foot to put weight on the spanner. It's surprisng how hot the nuts are.
  8. Get the spare tire. Put it on the bolts. Fuck the hubcap, you can do it later. Put on the bolts just like you took them off. Make them nice and tight but don't overdo it, just use your foot a little bit at the end.
  9. Chuck all the stuff in the back - you can tidy up later.
  10. Drive off.
Happy driving, fellas!


Blogger Toutie said...

Ha Ha Ha Haaaa!!!!
I went through the tunnel yesterday and noticed a sign that said "24 Hour Cameras. In case of car problem stay in car." or something like that.
It made me think how much I wouldn't want to be walking around in that tunnel.
If you changed your tire in that tunnel, man you have got big fuckin testicoli.
You're ready to serve in Bosnia or whatever the most frightening battle zone in the world is currently.


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