Have you ever had to change a tire?
Last Monday while driving down a particularly low traffic (unfortunately) road I found myself with a flat.
And guess what?
I took the chance to build up my courage and get my hands dirty rather than calling my husband. With my phone in one hand, I browsed sites that showed me how to change my tire. After an hour of downtime my Google search: "Change a tire" was successful in giving me the knowledge on tire changes in general.
For example: I come across this first site that told me to change my tires in pairs or all four at once. Did they tell you how? Nope. While this is surely great information, I don't even know how to change one, though if I have to change them later thank you for the info but, next!
I corrected my query by writing: "How to change your tires." And there, a brilliant site appears promising to teach me how to do just that. This site begins by listing the tools to have: a jack. A jack? I rush into my trunk, lift the bench and find several tools, some weird, and never seen before seen tools. I guess the jack is one of one of those tools, and in my memories of time spent in my father's garage, I remembered that the jack is a tool used to lift the car. Bingo. It's all coming together. So I take this big black tool, equipped with a crank that looks very nice, clean, almost like it has never been used and continue my research.
The second essential tool is a "4-way lug wrench" or "tire iron". Huh? A 4-way what? Anyway, I only have one tool left in my trunk, and I guess it's this one. Third tools: a flashlight. Hey, and here I thought I didn't have a flashlight with me. In the event it gets dark I won't have to work in the dark, I love it! Wait. The batteries are dead. Scratch that. I will just need to work fast. Finally: a spare wheel. Ah yes, without a spare tire we're not going to get very far. And mine even has air in it! Apparently that's an important aspect of this whole exercise. Who would have thought? I continue to read the site to get to the point that matters to me the most: the how.
Before you loosen the bolts, jack the car up.
Place the jack under the frame. We're really doing this. Okay, let's stay calm, I'm alone on the road, should I call my husband? No. I have to try to understand what I am doing. I get the big black thing right next to me and try to put it under the wheel, in my own way. I guess the jack is supposed to be stable but mine is all wobbly.
Up you go.
With the wrench loosen the bolts that hold the wheel on the axle.
I get the lug wrench and execute the instruction, putting this academic knowledge to the test. Until then, I was good. Getting the tools out of the trunk and jacking the car up wasn't a problem. But the sun is high and fatigue starts to win me over. I apply myself even more, full sweat breaks out all over my body (yes, not very glamorous, but we also sweat girls). Finally I manage to remove the last bolt. Which have been placed in the upside down hub cap.
I now understand why the jack was wobbly.
The wheel is loose now. SO the question now becomes what do I do? Is this even safe?
Off comes the wheel. At this point there is no going back for me.
It took more effort than I expected. They are so heavy!
Now that I got the flat tire off the hub I need to get the spare out of the trunk which I realized was much lighter.
At this point in the process if was just a matter of working in reverse, none the less it was exhausting. When I lowered the car to the ground there was this huge sigh of relief. My mind had built this horror scenario where the wheel popped off.
I watched it apprehensively for a few moments before beginning to clean up my tools up from the side of the road. Thats when a truck pulled up and offered me . He offered his assistance and was a little disappointed when I told him it was already done. It sort of felt like he hoped I would jump up and down and bounce my boobs for him out of joy. Sorry.
So ladies, it can be done!