Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Automechanics 101

Time to get your hands dirty. For all those do-it-yourselfers or cheap bastards like me who want to save money, it's important to rotate your tires every 8000-13000 kilometers. Find your users manual (usually located in the glove-box) and your jack (usually in a secret hiding place in the trunk with your spare). When you're switching one tire with another, you'll need to have two off at the same time, which means, you'll probably need two jacks. By the wheels, there should be nooks that are specifically meant for the jack. This is important. If the jack slips off, it could result in serious injury, or the equivalent of a guillotine.

Now, remove the hubcaps, then the wheels by unscrewing the lugnuts. To speed up the process, use a electric power drill. To follow proper tire rotation protocol, the back tires go to the front on their respective tires, while the front tires criss-cross and go to the back (refer to the handsomely hand-drawn diagram above). The lugnuts should stay where they are. If they have rust on them, get out the old wire brush and start scrubbin'. A good way to get rid of rust is to soak the metal in Coca Cola Classic. Only the tires switch.

When you're putting the tires back on, you want to be sure that the tire sits properly. Therefore, tighten one lugnut, then the lugnut directly opposite to that one, then the lugnut as close to the opposite side of that one, and so on.

Once you're finished, you should feel as happy as a kid at a carnival. Tire rotation ensures that the wear and tear of your tires occurs evenly. You'll get more mileage out of your rubber. You'll get more oomph out of your ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now you can sit back, and enjoy the ride.


Blogger Jason said...

Looks like a lot of work.

8:39 a.m.  
Blogger madamerouge said...

Ignore Jason. He once left a car in an impound lot forever.

The one thing that concerns me about d-i-y tire-rotation is that you're still probably going to want to get the wheels balanced--and this takes professional equipment.

11:05 p.m.  

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