How To Change Your Tire

Pothole season is officially upon us, and it seems that they can change an entire commute overnight. A flat tire can ruin your drive, but it doesn’t need to ruin your day. Having a stable solution until you can get your hands on a new tire and check for damage will ensure that you can still go on with your day. Here are the steps you should take to change your tire.

Find a stable area to change your tire.

Have a solid, level surface to stop your car from rolling. Park as far away from traffic as possible and turn on your emergency flashers. Apply your parking brake as well. If possible, put a heavy object in front of both sets of tire to stop your car from moving- like rocks or pieces of concrete.  

Take out your spare tire and jack. 

Place the jack under the frame near the tire. Be sure that it is on the metal portion of your car’s frame. Many cars have molded plastic on the bottom and if you don’t place the jack in the right spot, it will crack the plastic when you start lifting. You owner’s manual should have the correct location to place it if you aren’t sure. Raise the jack until it is supporting, but not lifting the car.

Remove the hubcap and loosen the nuts. 

With your car supported, but not lifted, by the jack, take the hubcap off and loosen the nuts, but don’t take them off. Use the wrench that came with you car or a standard cross wrench. The right size will fit over the nut but won’t rattle when you turn it. Be sure to be turning it counter clockwise— remember righty-tighty lefty-loosey.

Lift the car off the ground and remove the nuts. 

Now lift the car up enough to remove to tire and remove the nuts. Make sure that your car remains stable as you lift it.

Remove the tire and replace it. 

Remove the tire and replace it with the new one. Place the spare on the hub and tighten the nuts until they are all snug. Tighten them as much as possible with the wrench. Wait until they are all on before fully tightening them to ensure that the tire is balanced.

Lower the car and store the damaged tire. 

Lower your car until it is just supported by the jack and then tighten the nuts again. Then fully lower the car and tidy your workspace, storing your jack and damaged tire. The tire can be brought to a mechanic to either be fixed or replaced.

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Steps To Free Your Stuck Car This Winter

Snow is fun until you become a driver, then it just becomes a hassle and a downer. The worst is having to wake up early to make it to work and then sliding right into a snow bank or not being able to get out of your driveway at all. Here are the steps that you should take when getting freeing your car from the snow.

Before The Methods
Before getting in and trying the following methods, dig the snow out from in front, underneath and in the back of your car. Clear a path long enough for wheels to move forward and back a few feet if space allows. Remove any snow that it higher than ground clearance. During big snow storms, keep a shovel handy. If you don’t have one, at least try to break up any ice that’s formed below the tires. Also, dig out the tailpipe before you start your engine to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Forward-and-Back
Move forward just a bit, then slowly back, then up again, applying a bit of gas. This can get rid of loose snow and possibly give you the traction to get out. Listen carefully, though, and if you hear any tire spinning, stop immediately.

The Brake
If your vehicle didn’t move at all or a tire is spinning, try braking while, at the same time, giving it a little gas. This should decrease the spinning while transferring power to the wheel. If able to, try turning the wheels slightly the other way and see if that aids in gaining traction. Don’t try this method for long, though. No more than a few seconds as it can overheat your brakes.

If possible, try to find some Good Samaritans that can give you a hand- or rather some muscle. Double some extra muscle with an ounce of gas, but be aware of your helpers and always ensure their safety.

Sand Or Kitty Litter
Adding sand or kitty litter beneath your tires can add traction that won’t damage your tires. It’s worth keeping some in your car during the winter months, just to be safe and have extra options if you get stuck. Don’t ever use antifreeze to melt the snow or ice. This toxic substance can find its way into storm drains and waterways. Salt is also not recommended, as it’s corrosive and can damage the undercarriage of your car.

Always be prepared when your car does break free. If you feel any vibrations, check to be sure that there isn’t packed snow and ice on your wheels. If you can’t break your car free, hunker down and call a tow truck as soon as you can. Check out essentials to keep in your car during the winter months.

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February Playlists: Week One

While we were graced with a week of fantastic weather, the cold has decided to make a reappearance. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be going away, either. The air is colder, snow is falling, and roads are icier. Commuters are back to the original winter grind of leaving far before the usual time to arrive at their destination. It’s time for a bit of a music pick-me-up to make the return to the cold a little more bearable. Here are five more tracks to add to your, unfortunately, longer commute.

Windows (feat. Prof) by Atmosphere

Atmosphere is certainly a style of rap that is easy to love. “Windows” is by far on of my personal favorites. It’s a jazzy tune with fantastic lyrics to match. Atmosphere is a great group to put you in a good mood if you are in a rut.

Mama Always Told Me (feat. Madison Love) by G-Eazy

How I glazed over this track during my first listen of G-Eazy’s newest release is totally beyond me. “Mama Always Told Me” is most likely my favorite pick from The Beautiful & Damned. There is an underlying jazzy, swing element that is incredibly pleasing. It’s a great track to zone out and enjoy, but the lyrics are certainly some that you should take time to listen to at least a few times.

Will He by Joji

A different pick for this week, “Will He” has a very etherial and otherworldly vibe. The lyrics are thoughtful and worth a few listens. The vocals always draw you back in, keeping you intent and wanting more. Certainly a chill tune to listen to. Start your morning off with “Will He,” you won’t regret it.

Chances by Subculture Sage

Much like Atmosphere, Subculture Sage has a jazzy, swing vibe that I have been loving recently. Lots of new artists are experimenting with jazzy tunes, and I’m certainly not complaining. “Chances” breaks into more traditional rap, as well. The verses are thoughtful and the production matches it very well.

Sawed Off Shotgun by The Glorious Sons

The Glorious Sons are certainly growing in popularity, “Everything Is Alright” being one of my picks last week. “Sawed Off Shotgun” has many of the same properties. While sounding almost like a country song, The Glorious Sons creates a harmony between country and true alternative. It appreciates the rustic feel of country music, but brings in the lyrics and clever production of modern alternative.

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New Tracks To Add To Your January Playlist

January car musicThe air is colder and the snow is plentiful. Unfortunately, the notorious winter commute persists another year. With the extra time tacked on to your travels, it’s ever important to amp up your tunes, as well. Here are some new songs to add to your commute playlist. Continue reading

Essentials To Keep In Your Car This Winter

no money down used cars With icy roads and frigid temperatures, it’s important to keep essentials in your car in case of emergency during an east coast winter. Whether your car is stuck and you’re waiting for rescue or you’re hunkered down with an engine that just won’t turn over, here are winter essentials to keep handy. Continue reading