I received this in an email today:
Subject: Majority of Teens Say They Don't Know How to Change a Tire ...
I do agree that driver's-ed ought to include more than just, metaphorically, opening the refrigerator door.
Ha ! Most cars don't even come equipped with a spare tire today. Now what ?
What about stick shift cars ? Hell, less than 20% of Corvettes sold today are stick shift - and the Vette is purported to be a sports car.
Here's an excerpt for a travel forum: [ Not my experience ! ]
"I recently traveled to Costa Rica and attempted to rent a car. After all the paperwork was filled out the man took me to my car.
It was manual transmission ! I told him I did not know how to drive a stick shift car.
He acted like I was crazy and then told me that in this small tourist town, that was the only car they rented.
They told me I would have to go to the Capital City, San Jose CR if I wanted to rent an automatic transmission.
Even there only a few cars are automatic.
He acted like I was the only American he ever met who did not know how to drive a stick shift car.
I am in my 50s and have driven since I was 16 years old."
With the future of autonomous cars, folks won't even need to know how to drive.
Unfortunately, the combined auto industries need as many drivers/spenders as possible to sustain themselves.
Mass produced, partially trained drivers, car, and insurance buyers are the result.
There will be those who pursue the technical skills needed to keep the non-techies rolling.
When we were growing up older folks might have said, "Why teens today don't even know how to hitch up a team." Now we are that "older generation." LOL!
Only a relatively small number of curious Luddites, gear heads, and historians bother to learn the skills of the past.
I'm afraid to take my '57 Chev to the car wash...it has column manual shift. Yes, I know, I should wash it myself.
When my Daughter got her drivers licence I Actually wrote a procedure on how to change a wheel over. As she said, watching someone do it and actually doing it was completely different.
We then went on and acted out the whole deal from the very beginning of finding a safe spot to do the changeover to taking the flat to the garage afterwards.
Should have also told her to make sure the fuel cap was back on after filling up before tipping water all over the fill area. As it turned out, water in the petrol was an issue and a flat has never been!
Alan in West Australia
It's been a few years already that one couldn't buy a new 1/2 ton from the "big three" with a standard transmission.
When my daughter turned 16 and got her driver's license, I had her change a tire and change the oil (including the filter).
driving down any freeway today, you will see cars with a flat tire, but you will not see anybody changing one. they just pull over and call for help. that gives plenty of time for texting and facebook on the smart phone while the tow truck is coming.
When my 21 year old daughter was 18 and got her permit we went and drove a few days with the automatic Corolla.
As soon as she was able to drive ok in town and on the freeway we switched to my Toyota five speed pickup and continued the rest of the driver ed. with the pickup. We practiced stopping on hills in a college parking lot that had steep exits going up and out of the outdoor lot.
When she drove to school in the mornings as we pulled up in front before she got out she always had to hit reverse and grind a little so everyone knew she was driving a stick.
Two or more of the young guys asked her if her Dad would teach them to drive a stick.
As for changing tires, my first wife learned how and was good at it, but I had to raise a little hell as too many of her/our lady friends were calling her to come and change their flat tires.
In the mid and later sixties the spares in some of those cars were just too damned heavy.
I had enough trouble teaching this wife how to call AAA on the telephone, I can't get into teaching her how to change a tire.
Once on my way home I saw her sitting along the road with a flat tire. I almost had it changed when AAA got there.
You do not need to change a tire if you do it right, we went for a drive in the mountains a few weeks ago, and my wife said "I hear air hissing, you have a flat tier" I told her that the car was driving fine, but she insisted I stop and check, and sure enough the spare had a hole in the sidewall and was flat, I did not even have to get out the jack and tire iron.
Last summer I worked two and a half months in a German car shop in Walnut Creek while the lead mechanic recovered from an operation.
The other guy had worked there 11 years and I was amazed one day at how quick he did a clutch job on a VW Jetta. When he let the car down on the floor he asked me to move it out to the parking lot because the boss was gone and the lady in the office was busy. He said he doesn't know who to drive a stick!.
He was 31 years old.
I told him it took me almost a half hour to teach my kids how to drive a stick.
Ignorance of old technology is nothing new. When I took driver's ed in 1959, I thought it was ridiculous that we had to drive automatics. Sometimes in old movies and TV shows you see people shut off a kerosene lamp by turning the knob.
i shut off lamps by turning the knob is it wrong?
I do too, you get less smoke and smoldering of the wick that way.
My wife had to special order her '07 Mustang GT with a stick. They didn't have one on the lot. I recently bought a '14 Focus. I had been looking at them for years. A couple of years ago, the gas mileage was about 2 mpg better on the stick, so that's what I told the guy I wanted. After I bought the car, I found that the automatic actually gets 1 mpg better than the stick now. Oh well. It gets better than what the sticker said.
If you shut off a kerosene lamp by turning the knob you have to readjust it the next time you light it, and usually have to trim the wick as well to make it burn evenly. If you just blow it out, none of that is needed the next time you light it.
I beg to differ with the guy in Costa Rica who said he had been driving since he was 16 years old. My father (a State Trooper) told me if you didn't learn to shift for yourself you are not driving you are aiming a missile!
Aaron said "I had enough trouble teaching this wife how to call AAA on the telephone"
That is funny and sometimes true.
When I met my wife she was driving a 4 speed Datsun sports car and I had a 5 speed Alfa Romeo, but that was decades ago.
Both of my kids learned on a 5 speed S-10 Chebbie pick up and my daughter now drives a 6 speed Mini Pooper S.
My son moved to Callifunny and I don't know what transmission his pickup and car have but I suspect they are automatics.
The problem with the Pooper is that there is not enough room for a spare and a passenger so it has run flat tires.
My lady friend bought a new car and it didn't have a spare tire.
Times change. Younger people put us old foggies to shame when it comes to new technology.
It's interesting what's going by the wayside. For example handwriting is no longer taught in many schools - let alone how to change a tire.
Speaking of aiming a missile: I bet all of the runaway cars on the news every week are automatics...
Tire changing story to share. In 1997 I was a sophomore in High School at 15 I didn't have my license yet. We had varsity hockey practice before school and my mother would drive me to the ice rink in the Boxy dodge caravan the next town over. You had to be on the ice ready for practice before 5:30, if you weren't on the ice by the time the coach came on at 5:30 you had to go home no excuses. So one of these early mornings half way to the rink in a snowstorm the trusty caravan got a flat, I had it changed in 10 minutes. I made it on the ice by 5:30 before the coach, 4 other players got sent home because they were late. So I could here the coach screaming at them saying "Mr Baker changed a flat tire on the way here and made it on time! What's your excuse go home!" That's my tire changing story I bet 90 percent of the kids in my high school class had no idea where to find the spare tire and jack if in that situation.
The current Queen Elizabeth was an ambulance driver in WW 2. As a part of the training, the ambulance driver had to demonstrate his/her ability to change a tire (it is bad form to be stuck in a combat area because of a flat tire). This training requirement was not waived for the future queen. If the Queen of England, Scotland, and Wales can change a tire, any normal able-bodied person who cannot, should be ashamed of themselves.
Changing a tire or driving stick shift should be part of drivers ed.
Why would a car not come with a spare tire? that is nuts with all the strange lug patterns and tire sizes now days where would you get a tire on a weekend in the rain on the side of the interstate?
And considering how short a life tires have nowadays a 3 year old tire can blow out from rot.
John, that's worth sending to all my friends.
Changing a tire, and changing a wheel are two different things!
But Royce and his Steve Garvey forearms makes changing a tire look so easy...
All in fun, Royce!
Some people don't even know how to shift a Model T! And others have never changed a clincher tire!
Others have never ridden a horse or in a stage coach!
Some have never traveled by train or in a propeller airplane!
Things keep changing!
That is one of the reason these cheap auto makers can sell these cheap cars so cheap. Figure in a tire, rim, jack, wrench and a place to put all that stuff makes the car lighter and cheaper.The doors are so cheaply built.
I seen one car, can't remember what car, didn't even have a radiator cap.
Norman, My late mother was proud of the fact that she had ridden an Elephant, but never a horse
What is really sad is that modern kids do not have science fiction, everything is fact now (except for transporters but that is because they use too much energy) Even jet packs and flying cars are fact (although we are not allowed to have them because the fun police said so)
Star trek went for decades and their "communicators" never did anything but transmit voices, they never took photos, played music or videos or anything normal.
New science fiction is zombies, but that has come true with meth users, they are brain dead rotting bodies that walk around trying to prey on normal people.
As for lighting oil lamps after shutting them off by turning the knob, that is simple, you adjust the knob slightly higher than when you shut it off, because the wick was enclosed in the body of the lamp, it has maximum oil saturation for lighting, and then you adjust it back down for maximum light out put. Even if I blow out the lamp, I still adjust the wick up to light and then back down to the sweet spot.
What is really sad is so many of the youngan's dont know how to roll the window down, shut the van door by hand, unlock a car door with a KEY.
All these bells and whistles will stop ringing and stop whistling and they are going to be lost!
Someone posted a window sticker the other day that said "real men have 3 pedals".
I am going to make 1 for my pickup but it will say, "real trucks have 3 pedals".
Quote -- "they are brain dead rotting bodies that walk around trying to prey on normal people"
You must be talking about politicians!
We're doing good these days if you can even find or figure out where to put the jack or spare even if you have one.
I remember back in '04 with my new Tahoe having a flat and having to break down in front of my wife and read the manual.
I had each of my kids change a tire before they got their license. It's also important to show them how to gain leverage with the wrench when breaking loose the nuts.
Gene -- My wife had a flat tire on our new Dodge Caravan in 2006.
Since we had AAA and she was on the road called them for help.
About an hour later a kid showed up and they could not find the spare tire.
Finally my wife called the dealer and they told her that it was under the middle of the vehicle and you had to lower it with a mechanism that was between the front seats.
Who would have thought?
I have ridden in a stagecoach. I have ridden horses a fair amount, elephants and camels a couple times. Never flown a plane myself, but as passenger, everything from a small Cessna on up, including takeoff and landing on the ocean. I was driving my grandfather's Ford tractors solo when I was six. Changed a tire when I was eight, and put on snow chains when I was twelve. Been welding since I was twelve also.
Yes, the world has changed.
My youngest son like to tell of the time he needed to use a public restroom in a fancy commercial center. He went in, noticed a fellow making motions at the sink. Tim went and did what he had to do, then walked back to the sinks to wash his hands. As Tim turned the knob for water at a nearby basin, he noticed the other fellow waving his hands under the faucet had a confused look on his face. The whole time, that fellow did not realize there was a faucet handle. He was trying to make the motion detector respond.
I fear that mankind is doomed.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the ride while it lasts! W2
C'mon guys...jack, spare? Don't need nor want to use 'em on my modern car.Usually dressed up for work. Pull out the fix-a-flat and pump it up and then drive it to my Discount Tire shop and they repair it for free. Piece of cake. If it blows and shreds, well I guess that's different- but never had a tire do that yet.
A few years back I came upon a lady that couldn't get into her car because the battery in her remote was dead.
She pointed to the other end of the shopping center and asked if I would give her a ride down there so she could buy a new battery.
I took the remote/key from her hand, unlocked the driver's door and told her to drive down there herself as I handed the key back to her.
She said she never knew the ignition key could unlock the doors.
I insisted that both of my daughters do their own maintenance on their cars while they were still living at home. Over the years they changed tires, spark plugs, oil etc.
My older daughter and I still talk about the time she got a leak in the transmission oil cooler line and daddy said she would have to change the line herself if she wanted to use the car.
She wound up with about a pint of transmission oil in her nicely done blonde hair.
I think the writer of the article should do a bit more research - purely based on personal observation, I'd wager that fewer than 20 percent of any mid-sized car manufactured since the mid-1960s had manual transmissions.
Not all teens and not all schools are the same. I recently posted a photo of my 14 year old girl with her birthday presents. A ratchet and a set of sockets - 3/8 & 1/4 inch drive, some Metric open end/box end wrenches - 6 mm to 18 mm, Vise Grips, pliers, screwdrivers, two adjustable wrenches, a shop manual for her dirt bike -- which she also got for her 14th -- a can of chain lube and a tire gauge and air compressor. She knows what all the tools are and how to use them. In rural Montana EVERY student takes Ag Shop in 7th and 8th grade, learns the names of 241 tools, learns basic auto maintenance in High School and takes auto shop class as a Sophomore or Junior. The schools still have machine shop classes, welding classes, wood shop classes, etc. She aced the shop class and when she gets her driver's license and a car in about a year and a half will take auto shop. She is a straight A student, does sports, plays in the school band, is a champion fiddler, guitarist & mandolin player; plays piano and three different instruments in school band, plays 1st chair violin in a Victorian Ball orchestra and plays Country & Western Swing backup in my band. She can drive a tractor with a stick shift and can't wait for a chance to drive the little Jeep pickup I bought at an auction the other day. She'll drive it as soon as I get the brakes working. Also passed Hunter Safety with the highest rating and was disappointed to not get a chance to shoot an Antelope during a hunting trip last fall. Wants a shot gun for bird hunting and a .22 for fun. Spent a week at the Gifted Institute at Carroll College this summer studying Comparative Statistical Analysis. Tomorrow is her first day of High School.
I bought a Suzuki 185 from a girl about a mile down the road the other day, she is a sophomore in the Diesel Mechanics Program at the University of Technology in Havre, Montana. Took shop in school, was rebuilding this dirt bike, has an S-10 with a high performance 350 that she has been drag racing, etc. I asked her how she gets along in the Diesel program. She said the only problem she has had so far is she can only pull about 100 lbs on a torque wrench because she is so tiny. A little over 5 feet and about 115 or so.
These girls can change a tire. Not all teens are stupid, lazy and spend all their life on their phone texting and playing games.
By the way, Savanna's 17 year old brother got a dirt bike from me for his birthday this spring. Got a shop manual, tools, pretty much all the same stuff she got. He's been working on it a little, it doesn't need much other than routine maintenance. The only real difference in their birthday presents is that she got a pair of Montana Garnet and Diamond dangly earrings -- which he didn't get. He got a .22 pistol instead. (Mom says she can't have a gun for another year and he doesn't want any earrings.)
Wayne: "I was driving my grandfather's Ford tractors solo when I was six." If you let your child or grandchild do that today even under your supervision you could be charged with child endangerment... see what politicians have done for us! I too was allowed to operate tractors towing big pesticide spraying rigs in our orange grove, operated generators and repaired farm equipment when needed and I still have all of my fingers and toes.
A couple years ago my mother in law lost power in the dead of winter. She could not use the cordless phone, the furnace went out, and the generator battery was dead so the house got mighty cold. She never thought to use the phone on the wall. She did not know what the red handle and cord were for in the garage, so she could not get the car out. She burned through all the firewood trying to keep the house warm and heat up hot chocolate to eat.
The phone rang on the third day and a neighbor across the street was checking up on her. They never lost power, so hustled over and got her into their house so she could warm up and get something hot to eat.
It is not just the younger set.
The world is getting in bad shape.
Stan, I wish the ways you all do things were more widespread.
When I was in high school I took the shop classes, middle school I actually HAD to sit thru half a school year in home economics.WOndered why till now. i can cook and feed myself and clean house myself. Gee, what do the males do now when single? Live in filth hungry?
Where are the parents to these kids that cant do anything for themselves? Why do the parents let their children grow up to be so vulnerable to scam artist that will take their money on repairs and such?
My dad always told me to never put all my eggs in 1 basket. Learn more than 1 trade so you can eat and provide for yourself.
So I learned basic mechanics,welding, landscaping,landscape maintenance,electronics. Surely I figured I could eat from 1 of them.I may not be the most fluent and handsome man but I aint starved yet.
Our many year old generator has a trickle charger on the battery at all times,and it get's ran about every two months.I keep at least 5 gal of each fuel on hand plus corn for the stove and fuel oil for the seldom used furnace.Usually there is bottled water left over from camping and the usual dead flashlight.Deer are eating all our apples and pears but i don't care and the pond is full of cat fish.Lot's of things that say winchester and i think this winter has to be better than last? Bud.
Some years ago I was working at a place that was an hour's drive from the nearest town. Most everyone carpooled. The pool that I was in consisted of three guys and a young woman. One day we walked out to the parking lot only to discover the young ladies' car had a flat.
With three guys, of course we expected and offered to change the tire. "No," she said, "I know how to do this." This was at the pinnacle of the women's lib movement, so we guys just stood back and watched her in action.
Well, I've got to say that I learned a few tricks from her. First thing she did was get the jack out and place it in position. I think she raised the car just a little, but the tire was still on the ground. Then she put the lug wrench on each wheel nut in turn and stepped on the handle. That broke the nuts loose.
After jacking the car enough to get the tire about an inch off the ground, she removed the nuts and placed the lug wrench under the tire. She lifted the tire slightly using the wrench as a lever, and pulled the wheel off the studs.
Meanwhile, we guys had gotten her spare out of the trunk, and then put the flat away.
Her next move was to lay the lug wrench on the ground, directly under the center of the axle. Then she rolled the spare forward onto the lug wrench and used the wrench as a lever to lift the spare into position. She leaned the spare onto the top stud and then jockeyed the spare onto the rest of the studs, again using the wrench as a lever.
After lowering the car down to the point where the tire was touching the ground, she torqued the lug nuts by stepping on the wrench.
When she got done, she hadn't even put a knee on the ground. Were we impressed !
Dick - I was taught exactly that procedure when changing a flat or removing a wheel.
I am guessing that you left off that before you lower the car you put all the lug nuts on and tighten them a bit.
Yes, she put the nuts back on as you said.
This is something else that might not be a made up story.
The boys had been up in the attic together helping with some cleaning. The kids uncovered an old manual typewriter and asked, "Hey, Mom, what's this?"
"Oh, that's an old typewriter," she answered, thinking that would satisfy their curiosity.
"Well, what does it do?" they queried.
"I'll show you," their mother said. She went downstairs and returned with a blank piece of paper. She rolled the paper into the typewriter and began striking the keys, leaving black letters of print on the page.
"WOW!" the boys exclaimed, "That's really cool -- but how does it work like that? Where do you plug it in?"
"There is no plug," she answered. "It doesn't need a plug."
"Then where do you put the batteries?" they persisted.
"It doesn't need batteries either," she continued.
"Wow! That's so cool!" the brothers exclaimed. "This should have been invented a long time ago!"
Dick's post about the flat reminds me of an old story. A fellow had a flat tire outside what was once called an insane asylum. He removed the flat and replaced it with the spare, at which point he discovered that the lug nuts had rolled down a nearby storm sewer. He was trying to figure out what to do when a voice came from behind the fence of the asylum, "Why don't you take one lug nut from each of the other wheels and use them to hold the spare in place until you get to where you can buy new lug nuts?" He did that, and asked the guy behind the fence, "That was a great idea. Why are you in there?" The answer came back, "I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid!"