Fix a Flator

Fix a Flator

Fix a Flat

Ben sat down at the center of the board, closed his eyes, and concentrated on the feeling of the vibration under his feet. He was just about to extend his skateboard when he felt it give, a hiss of pressure that seemed to pull at the edges of his mind. He opened his eyes, then lifted them to the bubbling liquid. The red dye was settling. It turned the murky liquid into clouds of scarlet that extended for hundreds of yards.


Your car or truck owner’s manual shows you how to change a flat tire, assuming a best-case scenario. But the real world includes all kinds of surprises: lug nuts that won’t budge, a wheel that’s rusted to the hub or a spare tire that’s so underinflated, it’s useless. Don’t think you’re out of the woods just because you have roadside assistance. Because if you get a flat tire in an area with no cell phone coverage, or the service is so backed up that it’ll be hours before they get to you, you just might have to change your tire yourself.

To avoid theft, many cars have one special lug nut on each wheel that requires a special “keyed socket” to loosen it. If you can’t locate the key when you have a flat tire (or another driver in the family isn’t aware of it), it won’t be possible to remove the wheel. You’ll have to use Fix-a-Flat, call for roadside service or have the vehicle towed to a shop. That can cost upward of $200. So make a point of keeping the key in a safe place, like the glove box, that is known to everyone who drives the car. If you’re not confident that you or the driver can change a flat tire, buy two cans of aerosol tire sealer from any auto parts store (Fix-a-Flat is one well-known brand) and keep them in the vehicle. The cans are sold in several sizes for compact, standard and truck-size tires. Tire sealants work on tread punctures 3/16 in. or less in diameter. They won’t work on sidewall punctures, blowouts or any other catastrophic failures. You’ve got little to lose by trying sealant. (Source: www.familyhandyman.com)


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