I used to be quite content with pleading ignorance towards anything remotely automobile-related, preferring to leave every aspect of car maintenance to father. But, it was getting hard to do that, especially when I came to own a 24 year old car and lived 700 km away from home. I was on my own.
The model that I have is a Daihatsu Charade Aura CX (G100 model) and she's a real piece of work.
So this is the first in a long series of episodes that we've ridden out together.
In this episode
1. hearing a funny sound
2. flat tyre
3. Replacing a tyre
I decided to drive up 80 km to Tanjung Malim to collect my degree transcript. I decided to drive up to cut the travel time by half, compared to taking the train there. Travelled with my sister for company.
Before any long journey, it's good to check your car vitals (as I was reminded by someone). Air pressure in the tyres,
water level in the radiator and reservoir,
as well as engine oil level and colour.
All were good to go, so we set off at 9am.
Did not notice anything amiss on the way but as we were leaving, there was a funny rut-tut-tut sound that got loud every time I slowed, but if I accelerated, it seemed to disappear.
So I not-so-wisely, sped up, hoping the sound would go away.
Soon someone on a motorbike rode up alongside, and honked repeatedly pointing at my tyre.
This was my (and my mother's) worst nightmare coming true.
I pulled up at a car park nearby and asked Marlene to look at which tyre was gone, and called my father to inform him
walked about 500meters to the train station, found a taxi driver, and told him to take me to a workshop. He told me he could help with a flat tyre, no problem, he even had a friend who was a foreman.
Thanking my lucky stars, I directed him to the car, and he helped me change my tyre. When I asked him how much for the ride here, he said inclusive of labour (his friends) he'd take RM50.
There are three lessons here.
1. Next time, this happens, before anything else, ask around for help from normal folk. Chances are there will be peope able to assist, as an act of kindness, rather than opportunity to make money
2. Learn how to change a tyre yourself.
3. Have all the equipment you need ready in the boot.
Here are the things that you need
1. Spare tyre
They are sometimes smaller in size compared to regular ones, but they'll be enough to get you to the nearest autoshop. There, if it's a single puncture, get it patched up, and use the patched tyre to drive home. Spare tyres, sometimes are old and not in terrific condition to drive long distances.
2. car jack
There are different kinds, and mine looks like this. This is important to raise your car up, in order to remove the punctured tyre. If you don't jack it, the nuts are almost impossible to unscrew.
3. Lug wrench
As long as you've got these three things in working order, changing a tyre is possible.
click here for a clear video tutorial on how to change your tyre.
So, go experiment with your car, learn how to replace a flat tyre. It could easily save you fifty bucks. =.=