Shortly after my daughter got her driver’s license, she called me up to tell me that she had a flat tire, and asked if I could come and help because she couldn’t get the lug nuts loosened (big points for trying, though).
I’ve changed my share of flat tires, but I hadn’t yet changed a tire on this car. I arrived to find that it wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated. The lug wrench for this little Mazda is extremely short, and the lugs had been overtightened. Fortunately, the back seat of my truck is, well, let’s just say that if you needed a whale’s pancreas, I’d tell you to check there before going to the trouble of googling it. A pipe clamp? Of course there was one back there! At about 3 ft. long, the pipe turned a 12-in.-long lug wrench into a 36-in.-long lug wrench.
Now I make sure that every vehicle in our household is equipped with a length of pipe that fits over its lug wrench. Sure, you could call your roadside assistance company and wait for an hour. Or, you could prepare for the worst, and be back on the road in 10 minutes.
— Brad Holden, Associate Editor