Changing a tire

Now, normally this is one of the simplest jobs in automotive maintenance. Fathers routinely show daughters how to do it, so they won’t be stranded on a road side at the mercy of unscrupulous car mechanics- or worse!!

You loosen the lug nuts; jack up the car; remove the lug nuts; remove the wheel with the bad tire attached; and either replace it with a spare while the damaged tire gets fxed or a new tire is purchased.

My car, Pickle Chip, is a green 1995 Geo Metro with a three-cylinder engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. The driver’s door doesn’t open (I have to climb in through the passenger side), the original radio antenna was lost in a Nebraska severe thunder storm, it’s replacement broke off under the immense weight of my Little Ceaser ornament from our favorite “quick meal” places, the tape deck quit working a couple of Christmas’ ago, it needs a new front end suspension and it has 136,000 miles on the clock.

BUT…

It gets 40 MPG IN TOWN!! It’s hard to give up on a car like that with gas fluttering around $4.00 a gallon.

No doubt about this time, Heather is asking (if she remembers him) “But what about Bucephalus?” Yes, we had a lot of fun driving around in that 1975 Toyota Corolla SR5, singing along with The Kinks “Lola” on the radio. Bucephalus, named for Alexander the Great’s favorite war horse, was the kind of car that one would wade into a flooded roadway to push pack out of the stream ( I don’t recommend this course of action, but you get the idea.) Alas, like “poor Yorick”, he has gone the way of all mortal things. I like to think that some of him was recycled into part of one of the Space Shuttles or the International Space Station. But I digress.

Now BECAUSE of this front-end problem, Pickle Chip (who got his name in a Kansas severe thunderstorm where the radio announcer said cars were being tossed around like “potato chips”- except Pickle Chip is green) goes through right front tires like Microsoft™ goes through Service Packs. Usually I pick up a cheap used tire and put on there until it shreds, like the current occupant of that position is doing.

Remember- 40 MPG. Maybe someday the whole wheel assembly will come flying off, but until then, 40 MPG.

So I get the jack and the lug wrench, loosen the lug nuts, and raise the car. Here my troubles begin. THE STUPID WHEEL REFUSES TO COME OFF OF THE CAR!! I don’t know what manner of symbiotic, unwholesome relationship has grown up between the car and the wheel, and when it’s approaching 100° F, I don’t really freaking care!!! I WANT MY FORNICATING TIRE!!!

I have tried a crowbar, a hammer, a hammer AND a crowbar, my foot, soaking it all day in WD-40 and finally lowering the car with the lug nuts off to see if that broke it free.

I wouldn’t be writing this if it had.

So now it sits in my driveway, sniggering at my futile rage. Tomorrow, I’m taking Pickle Chip to a local automotive repair facility and hopefully ruin some smart-aleck mechanic’s day when he thinks “What a doofus- he couldn’t even get the tire off of the car!”

Good luck, pal.

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3 thoughts on “Changing a tire

  1. Bucephalus rocked! And what about the Daring Dash Dog? Did he move into Pickle Chip? (I forget the dog’s name..but I do remember he was “____ the Daring Dash Dog.”

    Good luck with the tire. And yeah, 40 mpg is great.

  2. Fortinbras. He’s in Pickle Chip, still providing security, ably assisted by Puck the Pup, a McDonald’s ™/The Dog™ toy hanging from my rear view.

    Wonder what I did wrong on the links?? Others in OTHER posts seem to work. Must be the heat.

    Watch for a NEW post on why I’ve been missing from my work in progress.

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