Understanding Your VehicleAuthor: Brenda Williams
Do you know that there are some people who don't even know how to change their own tire on their vehicle? When you first purchase a car or even before that; when you first have the opportunity to drive a car, you should first make sure that you know how everything on the vehicle works. For example, right before I was scheduled to sign up for driver's education lessons at my high school, my father took me out to the driveway and walked me through how everything worked on his car (since I was more than likely going to be borrowing his vehicle at some future point).
Today, I am grateful for that impromptu lesson all of those years ago. Even though his tires were completely fine, he still stood there and, in the hot summer sun, made me go through the entire process of changing a tire. This was, perhaps, one of the most important things that I could know about a vehicle because a couple of years later when I had my first car and was away at college during my frehsman year, I somehow got three flats over the course of that first year. I remember having to get on my hands and knees in the cold, 32 degree weather so that I could change my tire, put the spare on and drive my vehicle over to the mechanic so that he could address the flat tire.
There are many people who were surprised that I knew how to change a flat tire and that I had done it more than once during my freshman year of college. Where I had changed a flat, other young women (and some young men) would have called Triple A or someone else to come and help them. I even got a flat tire once when I was renting a rental car while my personal vehicle was in the shop for maintenance! Talk about bad luck with tires! Just a couple of years ago, I had just purchased a brand new Jeep, and one day while I was driving the twenty minutes it took to get to work, I noticed that my car seemed to be acting strangely. I had checked my tires before I left, and the tires had been fine...but still it felt as if I was almost dragging a dead body behind me. When I got to work, I hopped out of my vehicle, and walked around the back to get my police gear out for work. That's when I noticed that both of my back tires were completely flat.
As a result of all of my tire woes, today I am extremely parnoid about tires. Before I get into my vehicle, I almost always do a quick check of all my tires. I occasionally keep an eye on the tread as well, as tread wear can affect what kind of gas mileage your vehicle gets. The tread in your tires can also be the cause of vehicular accidents as your tires have nothing left to grip the roads with, causing your vehicle to have difficulty when attempting to stop your car.
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