23. learn to change a tire

Yeah I did!  I learned big time!

A couple of weeks ago, I went camping in Yosemite and while driving home, I got to talking to my Dad about this very list!  I told him a handful of items I could remember (30 things is a lot to think up on the fly, particularly when you are already distracted by the excessive number of itchy mosquito bites you have ALL OVER).

He thought it sounded interesting and offered to teach me how to change a tire.  So yesterday, I headed over to his house, got my hands dirty, and changed a tire!!!

People, it was wonderful.

Seriously, it was so nice, I could get teary-eyed about it.  Yes.  I know.  How do you know you are a cryer?  When thinking about changing a tire makes you sentimental….

I got to spend time with just me and my Dad.  I could tell he was excited to teach me something and I realized that I was really excited to learn.  Crouching down next to his car, listening to all of his tips about navigating car maintenance, I felt good.  I felt like the loving, kind daughter I want to be.  And this may seem out of place in a post about changing a tire, but it is what happened.  I got to listen to my Dad and respect his knowledge.

We worked on the car together and after successfully jacking it up (literally, not in the way that I ruined anything) and removing the tire: we cleaned the brakes, checked the rotors, compressed the brake cylinder, changed the two brake pads, and put the tire back on!!!

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HOO-RAHH!!!

You know when cars make that horrendous screeching sound while braking?  My Dad taught me about the little metal tab that sticks out  on the brake pads that does that!  He said that if that sound starts up, it is like a warning sound that your pads are getting low.  On the ones we changed, the pads still had about a quarter of an inch of pad left soooo, it does NOT mean that the pads are totally worn and the metal on the pad is gouging your rotor with each press of the brake pedal!  Mind bomb.

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Now of course, if your car is screeching, check your own pads and rotors to make sure that is what is going on.  I don’t want anyone to be like ‘its cool, I read in a blog once that my brakes are totes fine…’ then something awful happens.  So get acquainted with your car, work with someone who knows what they are doing, and get it checked out by someone experienced / trained.

Today, I feel better knowing how to change my tires, should the need occur.  I will save on Triple A and feel better when I am driving through areas with no cell reception / a dead phone.  Because Murphy’s Law knows that if my tire is going to blow, it would totally be in Po-Dunk, Nevada right next to a scary meth den.  And no one wants to knock on that door for help.

I am loving doing things on this list.  I have a few more posts to add – it has been a busy Summer!!!  Had I not set out to learn how to change a tire, I would have never spent that time with my Dad and gained from his experience like I did.

Oh, and Zo came too!

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Look at her sweet face in her little car seat!  I can’t handle it!!!!

Have a great day!  Fix your car!  Cuddle your pup!

Courtney

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