The List: Number 33 – Change a flat tyre.

Posted by March 31, 2010 RL 5 Comments

This is one of those things I never thought I’d have to do. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had car trouble and a) I haven’t had someone strong and masculine in the car, b) I’ve been wearing a short enough skirt so that someone will stop and help me or c) failing the other two, my trusty AA card. I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever had a flat tyre. And stupidly, I spent the entire drive home trying to figure out what that weird noise is. So, lesson one: if you hear something weird, pull over and get out and check your tyres.

I didn’t do that. I drove pretty much across the city and waited till I got home before I checked my tyres. Yeah, stupid me. I’m one of those people who don’t know anything about cars. Absolutely nothing about cars. You put the key in, and go, is pretty much the extent of my knowledge. Still, I was pretty determined to do this myself (it’s on The List, see!), which was lucky, because I was the only one there to do it anyway. And because I was at home it meant that I could change the tyre in the safety of my driveway, instead of on the road.

So, first things first. Pull out all the shit in your boot. I had a spare space saver, one of those raise-the-car things, and two tools. I pulled everything out, and set up the raise-the-car thing. It took forever, but eventually I got the car off the ground. Yay! I was actually feeling pretty accomplished at this point.

Then pull of the cap thing that covers the bolts (if you have one) and using one of your tools, undo the bolts. This took me for-fucking-ever, because whoever had bolted on the tyre last had muscles like superman (or a handy mechanics tool). I, however, do not have superman-esque muscles or a handy mechanics tool and spent a rather inordinate amount of time jumping up and down on the spanner thing trying to loosen the stupid bolts. It was alot of hard work, and by far was the worst bit about changing the stupid tyre.

Once you’ve got the bolts off, slide off the punctured tyre, and put the new one in place. Super easy, though don’t do what I did and be surprised about the weight of the tyre. I dropped it on my foot and was unimpressed at myself.

Once you’ve got the space saver in place put the bolts back on. I decided that if I wasn’t strong enough to take them off with my arms, then standing and jumping on the tool to tighten the bolts was perfectly acceptable. I had minor fears about the wheel coming off when I drove, so I spent a long long time making sure the bolts were as tight as they could be.

Once the wheel is sweet, undo the raise-the-car thing (that’s totally it’s technical name) and tada! All done! I have to say I was pretty stoked with myself. I’ve never had to change a tyre before, and actually, it was pretty easy.

The next day I went to Firestone, in Albany to get the tyre fixed. Turns out I needed a new one anyway, but the guys were super nice. They let me clamber around the warehouse to get my 365 shot. They showed me the fancy equipment they used to check everything out with (I was bit unimpressed, actually, because what took me 45 minutes to do took them about 10 seconds). They changed my tyre, checked the condition of my other tyres, did some checking under the bonnet and then they gave me a super sweet discount! $79 down from $125! I was pretty stoked with that. They were pretty good guys, seriously. If you’re in Auckland, and you need tyres, then look them up. They’ll take good care of you.

Anyway. Number 33 on The List: Change a flat tyre. Done. Woo, yeah!


  • Lyth says:

    “Raise-the-car thing” 😀 Awesome. I also love how you were home alone, so obviously you set up a tripod and timer to take photos of you changing your tyre? :p

    I find Firestone guys to be super friendly and helpful, I always go to the one in Onehunga whenever I need a new tyre(s). Usually not too pricey either. I like how they posed for you too. Very cool.

    Oh, I think they call it a jack by the way, not that I know anything about cars either.

    @Lyth – Hahaha, <3! I had to take photos, so I could prove that I did it. It's on The List Lyth, THE LIST! <3 - elly x

  • Emily Jane says:

    Brilliant!! This is one of the things that scares me about learning to drive. When Things Go Wrong and Knowing How to Fix Them lol. And yaaaay it made me happy to read “tYre” and “boot”!!

    @Emily Jane – Haha, yeah. Still, I’ve been driving for years and years and years and I’ve never had to change a tyre before. And, lets be honest, if it hadn’t been on The List, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I probably would have called out the AA and got them to change it. Madness, right? – elly x

  • Maggie Mason says:

    NICE! I wish I were nearby because this so calls for a high five.

    @Maggie – Thanks! I thought it was high-five worthy too :) – elly

  • Awmb says:

    You are freaking hilarious! This is brilliantly done, and I’m so glad that you have pictures to prove it! My favourite part was when you had to stand on the x shaped tool thingy to get the bolt thingies off.

    @Awmb – Ha! Thanks hey! And that was definitely NOT my favourite part, honestly, getting those bolts off took foreeeever! – elly x

  • Yay you ! I tried to change a flat once, but gave up when I couldn’t find the jack in the trunk. I figured if I couldn’t even find the necessary tools in their assigned storage area (note: they were in there, and the guy at MY local Firestone found them and showed me where they were) I should not go any further. But between the nice guys at firestone and your play by play directions, I feel totally empowered. I just hope I’ll never need to exercise my newfound confidence, because it still looks like a Pain in the Behind.

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