When I got my driver's license, before I was allowed to drive on my own, I first had to know how to change a tire. Every driver should know how to change a flat tire. Personally I feel that it should be part of the drivers test. It is very important. I learned first hand today just how important. Today, I had my first flat tire of my driving life.
I went to pick the kids up from school. All was well driving to school. I parked the car, went in to pick up the kids for their dentist appointment that was scheduled for 15minutes after picking up the kids. I pile them all up into the van, start to drive away. As I am driving out of the parking lot, the car starts to pull hard to the right. Knowing something was wrong, I stop the van. I walk around the van and noticed that the rifht front tire was completely flat. GREAT!!! Mind you, it's 40degrees outside and pouring rain. Of course it's pouring rain, can't have a flat in nice sunny weather. Luckily I was in the school parking lot, and many parents are around. My first challenge was to lower the spare tire down. I have a van that has a spare tire like a full sized truck, under the car between the rear tires, suspended by a cable. The problem, lowering the cable to remove the spare. I thought there was a metal clamp that needed to be unscrewed. I tried my hardest, a fellow parent tried, all while lying on the cold wet ground. By now, I am soaking wet and freezing cold. After many attempts, I finially figure out that the cable needs to be lowered by putting the tire crowbar into this little hole and turning it. Once the spare is off, I place the jack up under the car and raise the car. As I am jacking up the car, a student's father loosens the lug nuts. Sure, I could do it, eventually, but to me that is the hardest part of changing a car tire. Luckily, my boyfriend placed the lug nuts on, and were torqued just right...not too tight. With the lug nuts loose, I finish raising up the car. I remove the flat tire, place the spare on, and tighten the nuts up, lower the jack, and away we go. As I was placing the spare tire on the car, another mother walks over and starts asking me how I knew how to change a tire. She proceeds to tell me that she has no clue, that her husband would have to change her tire. When I told her that I wasn't allowed to drive without first changing a tire by myself, she proceeds to tell me that she now plans on making that a requirement for her kids. My first thought was that she should learn before making her sons learn. Had I been stuck on a road, with nobody insight, I still would have been able to fend for myself, and be on my way. Sure, it was nice being in a parking lot and not on a road. It was even nicer having lots of people around willing to help. The best part for me was fathers in awe that I knew what I was doing, and had more tools to complete the task than I needed.
Besides knowing how to change a tire, every driver should have a few things in there car. #1-jumper cables-it's always easy to find someone to give you a jump if needed, not always easy to find someone with jumper cables. #2-A small tool box with a hammer, a few wrenches, and screwdrivers. #3-a small air compressor (Had I not been able to figure out how to remove the spare tire, I could have pumped up the tire long enough to get to a garage and have the tire fixed). #4-Windsheild washer fluid-never know when you might run out and need it. #5-1 extra quart of oil, enough to top off the oil if running low-make sure you know how to check the oil. #6-something to put on the ground just incase it's pouring rain and you need to lay on the ground (I will add this immediatly), not to mention, it will keep you warm in the winter if the car gets stuck
Just another day in my life for sure!!!