Thursday, April 03, 2008

How to change a flat tire - For Monique & other Women

Make sure you always have a spare tire, a jack & a lug wrench in your trunk.

When it's time to change a flat:

1. Stand on the side of the highway in your sexiest pose with your hood up. (The hood on the actual car. This is not a euphemism for flashing motorists. This could lead to arrest.)

2. Men will stop & ask if you need help.

3. Will your most pitiful "I'm just a girl" look, tell him that you need your tire changed.

4. While he's changing your tire, you will have to put up with a lot of "A pretty woman like you shouldn't have to change a tire all by yourself." & other sexist comments. Just smile & gush & act like you might be interested in him. You can flirt by asking him if he's always this handy or some other shit that strokes a man's ego.

5. When he's done, thank him for changing it. Do not give him your number (Unless you're single & he's cute.)

6. Leave ASAP in case he's an axe murderer.


As if.

Necessary tools:

Lug Wrench
Jack for YOUR car (some cars just need a little tiny one, some need a larger one. Every car I've ever bought has come with a jack & a spare so I don't know where you'd buy one...)
Spare tire
Towel or something to kneel on.

1. Find a safe spot to pull over (You can drive on a flat for a little bit, just don't try to go a 73.8 miles or something ridiculous like that.) Choose a flat spot because jacking up your car on a hill can be a a really expensive mistake. (Imagine your car falling off the jack & heading into oncoming traffic...) Make sure to set your parking brake!

2. Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat.

3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Don't remove them lug nuts yet. (Sorry for the grammar, I'm remembering this in the exact fashion that my sex partner at the time told me...) Just loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. I like to bounce, like it's a ride or one of those work out trampolines... (Be careful! My cousin stood on the wrench & slipped off & got a really bad cut on her leg.)

4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Different car models may have different places to put the jack, read your manual for the specific location. Once the jack is in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is a few inches off the ground. (Six inches is recommended, but I usually get tired way before that, so I just jack it up enough to be able to get the geedee flat off of the wheel base.) If you forgot to set your parking brake, this is the point where your car will lurch forward or backward off the jack & scare you half to death. So BE SURE TO SET YOUR PARKING BRAKE! For extra safety, you can place big rocks behind or in front (whatever the situation calls for) of the wheels of the tires that aren't flat so your car won't roll if it happens to fall off the jack.

5. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a place where you won't lose them (I usually put them in my pocket). Pull the tire straight towards yourself to remove it from the wheel base.

6. Place the spare on the car. Line up the holes in the spare with the things sticking out. (I don't know what they're called. I don't really care. Ask a man.) Push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can't go any farther.

7. Put on the lug nuts. Don't put them on tightly, just make sure they're on enough for the spare to stay on the car until you...

8. Lower the car, with the jack, back to the ground. Remove the jack from underneath the car.

9. Once the car is on the ground, you can tighten the lug nuts. You have to do them in a specific order. Tighten the top & the bottom & then the ones on the left and right. Or the other way around. Just make sure that you don't tighten them in a clockwise or counterclockwise order. I don't know why. That's just the way it was told to me. Stand/bounce on the wrench to get the nuts as tight as possible because you don't want your wheel falling off when you're driving to the service station to get a new tire!

10. Put your flat & all your other crap back into the car. It is not recommended to drive on a spare tire for very long (It's usually smaller than your regular tires.) because it's bad for gas mileage & some other crap that I don't really care about.

11. Get a new tire ASAP. (I always had to wait for payday, so I was driving on the spare for a couple of weeks, but I'm poor. Some of you might be able to go get a new tire the same day. Yippie skippie for you wealthy bitches. Why are you even reading this? Don't you have a "handy man" that you can call to do this for you? I hate you! ;-p)

Now, make sure that you have all the necessary tools in your trunk. If you don't have them, buy them. Practice taking off your wheel & putting it back on. You don't actually have to put the spare on (Tires are heavy, just pull it off & place it back on.) The reason to practice is that if you know that you can change a tire, you won't get nervous if you ever actually have to. Might also be a good idea to have a big flashlight in your car in case the flat happens at night.

Next lesson will be "How to change a dead battery". Whenever I feel like posting it so don't bug me about it.

**Update** 1:08 pm

The 2 comments that I have so far mention calling Triple A.

If you have Triple A, I am thrilled for you. What if there is no cell reception where you have the flat? You can't predict when a flat tire will happen. It almost always happens at the most inconvenient time for you.

I still think you NEED to know how to do some things for yourself "just in case". You don't wait until you get herpes to decide to use condoms, do you? You don't wait until your stove catches on fire to decide that you need to learn how to use your fire extinguisher, do you? (They will teach you for free at your local fire department, BTW.)

Being a helpless female is 1) NOT cute or smart and 2) Why men think we're afraid to break our effing nails or get dirty.

Grow up. Learn all you can about taking care of YOURSELF so that you only rely on other people when you WANT to!!

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