• The internet is full of articles written by Boomers complaining about how Millenials don’t have the basic skills needed to survive. Boomers complain that Millenials can’t read maps, compute tips in their heads, or change tires.

    Well, here you go, Millenials. Here is a guide to changing tires. As a Generation Xer, let me share a secret with you. Changing tires sucks. It’s a dirty process. It’s often done on the side of the road or in a sketchy parking lot. And removing the lug nuts can be difficult.

    Instead of changing the tire on your own, take a selfie crouched down by the tire with a frowny face, and then call All-MD Recovery and Towing. Here’s another secret that Boomers don’t know: All-Maryland, even though it has the word “towing” in its name, will come to your rescue if you have a flat tire. Whether your flat is in Baltimore or somewhere else in the D.C. area, a technician from the company will come and change your tire for you.

    Theoretically, there could be a time and place where you would need to change a tire on your own. Maybe if you are driving across the country, and you find yourself on a country road, and you have no cell service . . . then you need to know how to change a tire. 

    Maybe you plan to drive up to the Arctic Circle on the Haul Road . . . then you should know how to change a tire. 

    Maybe you want to learn how to change a tire to get your favorite Boomer off your back. Regardless of the reason, here are the steps.

    Step 1: Turn on your hazard lights and maneuver the car onto a level, safe spot.

    Finding a level spot may be difficult along the side of the road. A parking lot in a safe neighborhood would be the best place. If a parking lot is not in sight, move the car to a straight section of the road with a wide shoulder.

    Step 2: Apply the parking brake and place wedges behind the other tires. 

    If you are changing a rear tire, place wheel wedges around the front tires. If you are replacing a front tire, place the wedges around the rear tires. If you have no Earthly idea of what a wheel wedge is, find several gigantic rocks or landscaping stones. 

    Step 3: Remove your wheel cover or hubcap.

    Look at the tire. Do you see large, round nuts? If you do, you can skip this step. If you don’t see the nuts, you will need to remove your hubcap and to do this, you will need a tool. Either use the long, flat end of the lug wrench (which should be in your car.) Your vehicle may have fancy wheel covers that require you to use a unique tool to remove. Check your glove box for the tool if it is not with your tire-changing supplies. 

    Step 4: Loosen the lug nuts.

    It’s easier to turn the lug nuts when the tire is on the ground. Do not remove the lug nuts, but you should loosen them by placing the lug nut wrench around each nut and turning counterclockwise.

    Step 5: Use the jack to lift the car.

    Your mother wants you to be super careful as you complete this step. You can’t place a jack just anywhere under the car. There is a sweet spot that is designed specifically for that purpose. You may have to get a flashlight to look for this indented area under the frame of your car. 

    Once you find the designated spot, place the jack under the car. Put a large rock on either side of the jack to keep it from slipping. Place the lug wrench inside the hole of the jack and move the lug wrench up and down until the jack and the car begin to raise. Raise the vehicle about six inches from the ground.

    Step 6: Remove the lug nuts. 

    Place the lug nuts in a safe place, so you don’t have a Christmas Story moment.

    Step 7: Remove the flat tire.

    This step is pretty self-explanatory. Caution: the tire may be dirty.

    Step 8: Put the spare tire on the lug bolts. 

    Step 9: Replace the lug nuts.

    Feel free to do this process by hand. The lug nuts at this point should just keep the tire in place.

    Step 10: Lower the car (but not to the ground.)

    Using the lug nut wrench, lower the car until the wheel just meets the ground and then tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench.

    Step 11: Take another selfie with the completed project and drive away.

    Congrats to you, Millenial, for changing a tire. Now . . . if you would only understand the value of using a top sheet, we could get along just fine.

    This article was originally posted at Maryland Recovery and Towing.