Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Challenge: Change a Tire in Heels

This Bitch is preparing for yet another epic road trip in just a matter of hours- this one involves more than a few mix CDs, plenty of fall foliage, and a trip upstate for the Woodstock Film Festival! That's right, lovelies, this Bitch is premiering her film at her very first film festival, along with an entourage of fellow Bitches and boys. If you happen to be in the area this week/weekend, send me an email (bbonabudget at gmail dot com) and I'll give you all the details! In the meantime, a long car trip always means brushing up on the essentials of having a smooth, safe road trip.

The key to permanently avoiding Damsel in Distress syndrome is simply learning how to do things by yourself. While this can get incredibly satisfying, it can also be downright disgusting (see: How to Fix your Toilet) and not at all fabulous. However, being your own mechanic doesn’t necessarily have to mean manly- disaster strikes when you’re least expecting it, and that usually means you’re in heels and a pencil skirt, on the way to do something Very Important.

Among the tips and tricks we’d like to pass on to all our Brooklyn Bitches on a Budget, it’s how to change a flat tire. Our permanent “On A Budget” status means there is never ever money for an AAA membership (and if there is, we’d rather spend it on sushi, milkshakes, and cab rides home at night), and calling a mechanic to pick up your broken-down car on the side of the road is really lame. We know that not everyone was blessed with a father who refused to lend us the car unless we could change a flat tire in record time (thanks, Daddy!).

Scared to do it yourself? So were we, until a chance encounter with one very fierce Bitch proved that if you can change a tire- in heels, nonetheless- you surely qualify for Super Woman status.

  1. Feel the wheel getting flat? Pull onto a stable or a flat piece of land. Get as far away from traffic as possible and put your flashers on.
  2. Put the car in park and apply the emergency brake to ensure that the car cannot roll. Block a front tire if you are changing the rear tire, and vice versa.
  3. Get the spare tire and jack out of your trunk.
  4. Place the jack under the frame near the tire that you are going to change. Make sure that it will meet the metal portion of the frame. In most cars, there is a small notch just behind the front wheel wells or in front of the rear wheels where the jack is supposed to go.
  5. Raise the jack until it is supporting (NOT LIFTING) the car.
  6. Remove your hubcap and loosen the nuts with the wrench that came with your car. The right size of the wrench slips easily over the lug nut put does not rattle.
  7. Once the nuts are loose, crank the jack to life the tire off the ground enough so you can take off the flat tire and put on the spare.
  8. Remove the nuts the rest of the way and lift the flat tire off. If the tire has been on for a long time, kicking it might help to loosen it. Place the flat tire under the car so that it will fall onto the old wheel if the jack fails to provide support.
  9. Place the spare tire on the hub. Align the rim of the spare tire with the wheel bolts. Place the nuts on the correct spot and wind them by hand.
  10. Go in a star pattern around the tire (one nut across from the other) to tighten the nuts.
  11. Finish lowering the car and remove the jack.
  12. Tighten the jacks one last time before replacing the hubcap.
  13. Put your flat tire, jack, and wrench back in the trunk.
  14. You are officially a Tire-Changing Goddess!

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