Flat tires are never a fun thing-but this one takes the cake. It’s late, of course, and in the middle of a frog-choking rain. You’re stuck in the ankle-deep mud on the shoulder of a deserted road. How deserted? Our-of-cell phone coverage is deserted, or you’d be sitting in the cab of a service truck while somebody else gets drenched. That’s how deserted.
Yes, you could drive along the shoulder 0 11 the rim for a few miles to civilization, but insurance wnt cover the damage to your expensive alloy rim. It’s time to knuckle down and put oh e spare.
When removing a wheel, first loosen all of the lugs in a crisscross pattern for a half-turn or so. It may be necessary to use the mechanic’s favorite cheater bar-a piece of water pipe or thick wall pipe about 4 ft.
long-to add enough leverage to break the lugs loose. Remove them one at a time and lube them if they squeak. Retighten them in three stages, again in a crisscross pattern.
Black And Round Many carmakers, in an attempt to reduce vibration by making sure the wheels are more concentric with the hub, use a protruding lip that mates closely with the center hole on the rim. This works well for a CHANGING A TIRE couple of years, but eventually, corrosion from road grime can make it impossible to budge the wheels, even after you’ve loosened all the lugs.
Correct this now, and you won’t need to try it in the field. Jack up the corner of the car to take the load off the wheel and kick the wheel, alternating sides until it pops loose. No joy, and now your feet hurt Be sure the lugs are only a single turn frol11 tight, lower the car, and move it a foot forward and back, rapping the brakes smartly to break the wheel loose.
Repairing Power Antennas
t’s time to kick out some jams, so you reach into the console for your favorite MC5 CD. Popping open the jewel box, you reach for the CD, only to find out that Junior has liberally lubricated it with peanut butter and jelly.
After making a mental note to give Junior a good talking-to, you decide to surf the airwaves for some good old-time rock and roll. Punching the FM button, you hope that at least one of the radio presets has some Bob Seger tunes hiding behind it.
But no, there’s nothing to be heard on any channel except a great rushing noise, not even so much as CONELRAD. Time to come back to this millennium and find out what’s wrong with your antenna.
Manual Or Power?
Fixed antennas have only a couple of failure modes, and generally, they involve mechanical damage to the antenna mast or the cable. If part of the mast is still there, you’ll generally get some sort of signal. A poor connection between the antenna base and the fender also could be a problem.
Unscrew the antenna mounting nut and check for corrosion. A clean-up with a wire brush and reassembly might re-establish good ground. Powe r antennas are coyer. If they’re too shy to come out of the fender, you’re listening to static.