Adulting Achievement Unlocked

This weekend I changed a flat tire!

I was driving home from work after midnight, and all of a sudden it sounded as though a helicopter was flying low over my car. I saw a gas station up ahead three or four blocks, and pulled slowly in.

Yep. Tire totally flat.

I set the jack and raised the car, then tried to get the nuts off the wheel. I … could not loosen the nuts. So I went into the gas station to see if they had the number of a tow company who could come help. The gas station attendant did not, but, lo! Inside the station was a state patrol officer. He walked with me back to my car to see if he could help. He was a strapping man, 6’4″, young, visibly fit. With great effort he loosened the nuts on the tire.

A half-hour later, I was on my way again.

As far as adulting goes, this was easy. It was summer, not raining, not freezing, I was in a gas station parking lot and not on the side of the highway, and there was a person there to help me. I got home around 1:30 in the morning, and all was well.



2 Responses

  1. Sometimes adulting isn’t fun.

    For information – most auto shops use an air impact wrench to tighten the lug nuts on wheels. The better shops use a torque limiting socket. But even those will sometimes allow the nut to get too tight.

    Not that there’s much you can really do about it. If I were less lazy, after a visit to the shop I would take my car home, loosen all the lug nuts, and re-tighten them properly with my torque wrench. Then you could actually loosen them when you need to. But I’m way too lazy for that.

  2. My dad made me rotate the tires on the family car before he would let me use it the first time. He felt that changing a tire was basic life skill that I needed to know.

    I was thankful for that several times. In one of those instances I learned that the crowbar-shaped wrench that comes with most cars is only useful if the nuts were put on without power tools. The cross-shaped kind works better when you need to hop up and down on the wrench to get the nut moving.

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