Let?s say you?re on the road, engrosed in a Kojo Antwi track, singing along the highlife maestro?s song on the radio, then suddenly your car goes hobbling?you have a flat tyre.

Unfortunately, this happened in the middle of nowhere, do you get all worked up with a teary eye, call your significant half?husband or boyfriend, attract the attention of a sympathetic taxi driver, call your mechanic or you face the reality?

For Ms Rosemary Ardayfio, who has been behind the steering wheel for 23 years, it has happened a few times but luck has always been on her side.

?The first time it happened, I was driving fast, so it didn?t scare me. When I realised that, I just drove to the nearest fuel station and had it fixed.?

?Being a lady, as soon as you stop your car people want to help.  I always have a good spare tyre and tools,? she said.

That pays off indeed but on the other side of the coin, you may not be so lucky as Ms Ardayfio, if you happen to find yourself in isolated areas where crime is rampant since your fellow drivers may think it?s a trap.

Ms Aradayfio?s experience is different from that of Miss Mariyln Ackumey. She remembers the experience as if  it happened yesterday.

She was returning from one of those hilarious Uncle Ebo Whyte shows last year in high spirits. She had just sped past the St Johns Grammar School in Achimota on her way home to Pokuase when suddenly she heard boooom! Then, she lost control of the steer. Panick struck before she regained her composure. Eventually, she managed to bring the car to a stop before it crashed into a wall.

At 11.30 p.m., nobody was ready to stop and help until she reached her brother.

This happens to many women, and this is the perfect time to prove your  capabilities ? and there?s no crying in automotive repair.

The first preventive measure is to have your tyre regularly checked. That notwithstanding, misfortunes do come in the form of flat tyres irrespective of how prepared you are.

The first thing to do if you have a flat tyre is pull off the road to a safe place. It seems apparent, but scores of people die every year while trying to do curbside car repairs. Driving an extra 100 metres isn?t going to hurt the car as much as getting hit by another vehicle, so get far away from traffic and try to find stable ground.

Steps

Pull off the road on a completely flat area and place the car in park. Turn off your engine and switch on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of your situation. If there is heavy traffic, use flares.

Place a large rock or sturdy, heavy object behind the tyres if you?re facing slightly uphill or in front of the tyres if you?re facing slightly downhill. Next, you will need your spare tyre, a car jack, and a tyre iron.

Remove the hubcap using the wedge on your tyre iron. Next, loosen the lug nuts by turning the tyre iron counterclockwise. Don?t remove the lug nuts yet! Simply loosen them in a star-patterned order. Loosen one and then move diagonally to the next one and so on.

Jack up the car. Many cars have a particular spot on the frame for placing the jack. You may need to consult your owner?s manual to find this spot. The new, fully inflated tyre will be slightly bigger than the flat one, so jack up the car high enough to take this into account.

Completely remove the lug nuts and place them aside being sure not to lose them. If you have a hubcap, place them inside the upside-down hubcap.

Carefully remove the flat tyre. Place the new tyre onto the wheel with the air valves facing out.

One by one, replace the lug nuts in the same ?star? pattern that you used to loosen them. Do not tighten them completely.

Lower and remove the jack from the car, then finish tightening the lug nuts.

Replace the hubcap, if necessary. That?s it! You just learned how to change a tyre!

Things to Remember:

?  Periodically check to make sure that your spare tyre is not flat.

?  When a car is up on the jack, do not climb under  the car for any reason.

Every driver should know how to replace a flat tyre. If you?ve never replaced a tyre, practice this skill by removing and replacing an existing, healthy tyre. Having some practice under your belt can make changing a tyre on the side of a busy road a little less hair-raising.

Electric car jack

Alternatively, your messiah could be the electric car jack.

An electric car jack is device that plugs into the 12V lighter or power socket an your car. It is used in place of a manual jack if you need to change a tyre or raise your car to work on the undercarriage

An electric car jack uses hydraulics to raise your vehicle. As the jack?s motor runs, the jack turns raises and lifts the car. An electric jack creates less force per turn than a manual jack, but it turns at a much faster rate.

Via: Daily Graphic

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