Title:
When Tires Go Flat: Are You Ready To Roll?

Word Count:
627

Summary:
These days, when you get a flat tire, you'll probably just flip out your cell phone and make a service call. Still, the time may come when that won't be possible. There may come a day when you actually have to do that dreaded deed: get out of your car and change the tire yourself.

When that day comes, you'll want to be ready; youll want to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and with as little stress and risk to yourself as possible. Read on, and prepare yourself.

K...


Keywords:
flat tire, spare tire


Article Body:
These days, when you get a flat tire, you'll probably just flip out your cell phone and make a service call. Still, the time may come when that won't be possible. There may come a day when you actually have to do that dreaded deed: get out of your car and change the tire yourself.

When that day comes, you'll want to be ready; youll want to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and with as little stress and risk to yourself as possible. Read on, and prepare yourself.

Know the ropes.

When you're actually faced with changing a tire on a dark roadside, you won't want to be reading an instruction manual. One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to make a dry-run at changing a tire in a place and at a time that is convenient for you, such as in your driveway or a parking lot. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the process in optimum conditions. Once you can manage it in daylight, try it a few times at night.

Keep necessary equipment in your vehicle.

"Necessary equipment" includes a spare tire (preferably inflated), a car jack, a brick (to wedge against a front tire, if you're changing a rear one), a cross wrench, an air-pressure gauge, a flashlight, a clip-mounted light, and road flares. To be especially well-prepared, extra lug nuts in the appropriate size, a can of WD-40, and work gloves are also a good idea. For the sake of convenience, store these items in a single bag or carrying case in the trunk of your car.

Move the car to a safe location.

When you're driving and feel the tire blow out, make a conscious effort to get the car off the road and away from traffic. If you're on a bend when it happens, try to get the vehicle to where the road straightens out; that way, you won't be in a blind spot for oncoming cars.

Stay visible.

Leave your headlights and hazard blinkers on. Distribute the flares, making sure that they're far enough away from your car to give approaching drivers enough response time to steer clear of your vehicle.

Prepare your worksite.

Gather all the rest of you tire-changing equipment and put it next to the flattened tire so that you have all your gear close to hand. If you've compiled your "emergency kit" into a single container or bag as noted before, these items will be efficient and easy to carry; you won't have to worry about dropping items and losing them in the dark, or having to make extra trips.

Get down to business.

Go ahead and change the tire, just as you practiced. Just in case, always remain aware of oncoming traffic as you work. Be ready to get out of the way quickly if necessary.

Wrap up loose ends.

Once the tire is changed, you can be on your way...but you're not done quite yet. Most spare tires are called "50-milers" for good reason. They're not made for long-term or high-speed travel, so keep your speed under 50 miles per hour and stop at the nearest establishment where you can have your original tire fixed, or purchase a new tire as a replacement.

In the context of our busy lives, it may seem silly or pointless to devote precious time to preparing for a "what if" situation. We tend to think that our time could be better spent on other, more productive endeavors. When that fateful day comes, thoughthat day, or that night, when you find yourself stranded on a deserted highway with your cell phone on the blinkthose few hours of preparation will pay off, and you'll be glad you spent them as you did.


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