June 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

How to Fix a Flat Tire in Three Easy Steps (and 14 Hard Steps)

Today’s article is about how to change your tire. A lot of people are scared to change a tire, but in truth, it’s not much harder than changing a light bulb, if you had to jack up your house first and risk it maybe rolling down a hill.

  1. 1. Determine that your car has a flat. A good way to do this without getting out of the car is to ask yourself the following questions: 1. Am I in a rush? 2. Am I wearing nice clothes? 3. Is it raining? 4. Am I in a bad neighborhood? If the answer to two or more of these questions is “yes,” your tire is flat.
  2. 2. Get out of the car and figure out which tire it is. Sometimes the answer will be fairly obvious—for example, you’ll see a nail or screw sticking out of the tire. I drive over nails all the time—three nails in the past two years alone. I don’t know why the streets are just littered with nails and screws. Who’s doing construction on the street?
  3. 3. Once you determine that you have a flat, take care of it immediately. Continuing to drive might damage the rim. I don’t know how to change a rim, but I bet it’s a lot harder to do in your Shabbos pants at the side of a road.
  4. 4. Pull off onto the right shoulder of the highway. If it’s a driver’s side tire, pull off onto the left shoulder. Your other option is to climb under the car from the passenger side and try to change the tire that way.
  5. 5. Call Chaveirim. Chaveirim is a volunteer organization whose members are willing to get their pants dirty for total strangers. But be careful when you call them, because if your phone has lousy voice recognition, you might end up calling Chazeirim. And then you’ll have a whole bunch of pigs running around you at the side of the road, and they won’t be helpful at all. Also, there might be other organizations called Chaveirim. You can accidentally call the kind of Chaveirim organization that consists of older Yekkes.

“But I called Chaveirim!”

“Yeah, that’s me. Hachover Schlowmow ben Hachover Yowsef Mowshe.”

(I can make jokes like this because I’m one-third Yekke. And even so, they still might come after me with ridiculously-clean pitchforks.)

  1. 6. Find your tire-changing tools. If you’ve never bought any tire-changing tools, you’re in luck. Most car manufacturers hide tools around the car because they know that flat tires will happen. It’s a huge metal vehicle held off the ground by rubber and air. They weren’t born yesterday.
  2. 7. If you don’t know where to find your tool kit, check the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will show you where in the car everything is located, with the exception of the owner’s manual. You’re on your own for that. Usually it’s in the glove compartment, unless you left it on the side of the road somewhere.
  3. 8. Place the jack under the car and start cranking until the tire is completely off the ground. But remember that you’re lifting an entire vehicle on a point as small as your tiny jack, so if you do this in the wrong place, you might puncture a hole through the floor of your car. So maybe you should…
  4. 9. Position the jack perfectly. Experts recommend that you locate something called the “body flange,” which is the sturdiest part of the car and is clearly marked somewhere under the car in the dark. To find the flange, lie on your back and realize that you have no idea what’s going on down there.
  5. 10. Using your tire iron, remove your hubcap and loosen the lug nuts. The lug nuts may be a little snug, because they have them put on at the factory by an 800-pound gorilla. Make sure that you’re turning the nuts the right way and not making them even tighter. This might be hard to tell if nothing you’re doing is helping anyway.
  6. 11. If the wrench doesn’t turn, position it so you can stand on it and try to use your weight to loosen it. It helps to have a spare tire of your own.
  7. 12. If you still can’t get the tire off or are C”V not big and fat, you might want to get a passenger to stand on the wrench with you, or else flag down a stranger to do so. If you’re on your own, you can hold things as you stand up there, such as groceries, the gift for the wedding you’re trying to get to or your actual spare tire.
  8. 13. Once you have the nuts off, the tire should pop right off.
  9. 14. Chase your tire down the hill.
  10. 15. Lift the spare tire and try to get it onto all five or six studs while bending. This isn’t easy. Tires are very heavy, considering they’re rubber tubes full of air. Next, put the lug nuts on but don’t tighten them. Lower the car, then tighten the lug nuts by standing on the tire iron with your new friends. Then use the old tire to slam the hubcap back on.
  11. 16. Drive to the mechanic immediately to fix or replace your tire. And ask him to put on the replacement. You clearly have no idea what you’re doing, and he’s already wearing work pants.
  12. 17. From now on, when you’re driving, keep your eyes peeled for screws you can’t see. And also for the instruction manual that you left on the side of the road somewhere in the dark. And the wedding present.

By Mordechai Schmutter

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, among other papers. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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