Learn your Car

While driving to Mankato today to get away from the rainy gloom of the day and to pick up a few things, we hit something with our driver-side-rear tire. I didn’t think much of it until I walked past it to get my son out of his car seat. It was at that time that I heard the distinctive hiss of a deflating tire. Yes!

Laura watched Jamis while I began the process of removing the now useless tire and replacing it with our low-speed spare that I knew was attached to the undercarriage of the van.

Funny thing is that we just had the tires rotated and we took a different way into Mankato. If we had stuck to our normal path, probably wouldn’t have blown a tire. Oh well, that’s life.

Back to the story. I had never had to change a tire under these conditions before, mainly because I lived on a farm for most of my life and it meant that we had heavy jacks, air compressors and ample vehicles to tow back and forth with. Regardless, I got to work confident that I could work it out. Luckily, Ford supplied the needed tools and instructions on what to do. That wasn’t the hard part.

The hard part was getting the spare tire off of the cables which attached it to the undercarriage. Basically, the spare had never been used before (a good thing) and had rusted to the cables (a bad thing). It took longer for me to pry the cables off than it did to jack up the car, take off the bad tire, attach the new tire and clean up.

That stunk.

Moral of the story? Spend some time learning about how your vehicle works when replacing a bad tire. Find where the tools are hidden, how the spare is attached, how you are supposed to store the bad tire when moving and everything else. Also, take the time to remove the spare and reattach it as well. Not only will this give you some practice so that it will be easier when you need to do it, but you will also make sure that your cables are not rusting tight so that you don’t need to pry the cables apart when you need it.

I guess I could have tossed a “protip” in there somewhere.