21 January 2009

The Competence Project

Like it or not, there are some things you just have to learn how to do yourself.

Today, I learned how to change a tire.

As I pulled out of the parking lot at work, I noticed a very unpleasant thumping sound from the back of the vehicle. I pulled into the nearest safe driveway, the hospital entrance, and got out to take a look: sure enough, the back tire was squished totally flat.

There was no driving on it, not even the two blocks to the tire place. I phoned home and The Reluctant Farmer told me where to find the necessary equipment in the back of the car, and gave me the basic instructions. I made an attempt to undo the bolts, and there was no way they would budge. In frustration I phoned AMA to come rescue me, and went inside to use the hospital's public loo.

Sitting in the car, waiting for the AMA guys to arrive, I thought "this is boring." So, I got out the tools again and gave the bolts another try ... this time, they moved! A few more attempts and everything was loosened. I got the lift under the frame in the spot marked by the little bites out of the metal (also helpfully indicated on the diagram on the jack itself), and little by little, up it went. The wheel came off, the car rolled off the jack, and at that point I remembered that I was supposed to have put the emergency brake on. Did that, put the jack back under, and got the spare tire attached.

I called AMA to cancel the call and the lady at the other end said "way to go, girl!" :)

I drove home slowly, knowing that the bolts were not necessarily on all that tight and that spare tires don't really appreciate highway speeds, and received the hearty congratulations of my family as well.

It seems a small thing, I am sure, to anyone who has done it before. Still, never having done this, it was a bit scary at first. Knowing the AMA guys would be there if I couldn't solve the problem myself helped give me the courage to make an attempt, and the boredom of the wait gave me incentive to succeed.

So, that's one more thing I can say I know how to do.


  1. Anonymous10:02 pm

    Way to go!!! You are ahead of me! I've never changed a tire but have watched a few get changed!

    Love, AC

  2. Ditto that - way to go girl!


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