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Basic Survival



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muzak

Why are drivers of cars not able to cope with basic survival? What would they do when they have to face a real emergency in the middle of the night....with no car phone? I had to fix a flat for a friend last week and today another asked me why the back tire felt soft. Off I go from my home and find that the back tire is down about 3 pounds! I think she is the "Princess and the Pea" thing. Anyway, before someone gets a licence they should be able to tear the trunk apart and change any one of the 4 tires as it's part of everyday life.

ps: I'm glad they don't read this forum as to them..I'm a hero.

Max

Agreed. Before I left home, many moons ago, I had to know how to fix a flat, change my oil, and wax the car. I also had to know how to cook and clean and care for the lawn and landscaping. Do parents not teach those skills any more?

NILLINOIS

Yes, getting a licence in the USA is akin to getting it out of a gumball machine. Too easy, compared to European countries. You actually have to know how a car works, how to do basic diagnostic and repair if you should become stranded. Getting a drivers license is too easy.

muzak

I hate to "date" my age, but on my 16th birthday I went into the licence office and drove around the block on my "Little Honda" and was given my licence right then. Three years later I only had to answer a few questions and was given my car licence. MAN.. I'm glad it's not like that now!

RalphWiggum

Its amazing the lack of street smarts or common sense that today's youth has.

When I was stationed in Germany a few years ago I had a newbie no-striper that was clueless. He bought a BMW M5 from another guy we worked with. Keep in mind, we were in Germany and people sold BMWs for next to nothign on base. Anyway, he had this really sweet M5 with all the bells and whistles...minus an automatic transmission, after all it was a sports car....WAS.

This mental midget claimed he could drive a stick shift but then proceeded to amaze us all with his skills. He would drive down the autobahn at 200 kph and rather than use his brakes would slam the car from 5th to 4th gear. He claimed he wanted to save his brakes. I thought brakes would be cheaper to replace than a transmission. Two weeks later he ran the car into a house and busted up the radiator. Do you think he had it repaired before he drove it? Nope...he backed up, turned around and drove about 15 miles before the car died. He said it was a BMW and should be able to withstand that sort of stuff. He also claimed to not know that all of his radiator fluid was back at the house he hit. He had the engine rebuilt and the car fixed....back to a nice looking M5...until about 3 days after he got it back. He ran off the road and ripped the oil pan right out from under the car. All kinds of lights were on in the car saying pull the hell over. Now...even in German I'm pretty sure a bunch of red lights would be easy enough to interpret. Nope...he kept driving. You can guess how it ended...and basically how a great car went from glory to junk yard dog.

He must have taught his girlfriend a thing or two while they were dating. She was driving down the autobahn at a good clip and came into a construction area. There were plenty of warning signs and then the cones appeared forcing everyone to merge into another lane. This half wit stayed in the rapidly ending lane and continued right into the cones...which turned into barrels. When we asked why she didn't over she said nobody would let her in...so we asked why she didn't stop...she said she didn't want to. WOW!!

Ahh yes....today's youth!!

Bikeman982

You don't need to know how to fix a car (or change a flat tire) to get a driver's license.

That's why there are auto clubs. They will tow for free and also rescue you if stranded. That's the modern way.

I learned everything I know about cars on my own, but there are classes - courses that can be taken (if someone has initiative and time) that teach automotive basics.

My daughter had an intermittent slow leak in her tire and called me one day because it got too low. I drove over with a bicycle pump and filled it with air. She was able to drive it home and I was the hero.

I have since bought her three new tires and if she gets a flat, she will still call me to change it (she does not have much arm strength).

HappyMom

Muzak and Bikeman,

I don't need neither of you to be my hero default_tongue I know how to change a tire. Although the emergency wrench is on the short for a lot of us women, I stand on the end of the wrench and my weight on the 6'' wrench is just barely enough to loosen the nut...

In my driving class (20 years ago), we learned VERY basic mechanics/trouble shooting such as check oil level, air filter cleanliness (cars were mostly carburated back then), check other fluids: brake, PS, coolant..., know what the warning lights / gages reprensent and what to do (for example, if temp light goes on check the fluid level, heat the car to keep engine cool etc...), how to change a tire... That was the theoretical part. My driving instructor would make us check oil, air filter... once or twice

Ralph,

Maybe the BMW guy was used to driving an army tank?

Bitter

if you dont have the strength to turn that short wrench then just goto the hardware store and buy a length of pipe to use as an extension on it. i keep a peice of extension pipe in my car to make changing easier.

also on road trips i have...

jumper box with air pump

couple basic hand tools

tire plug kit

extra fluids

slime tire sealant

Bikeman982

I think it is easier for her to wait on the side of the road for roadside assistance or call AAA or some road service people. That's why we all carry cell phones these days instead of all having CB radios in our cars like years ago.

muzak

A couple of things about the above posts.

First: I've used a tire sealant years ago in my van and because of my haste, I had a wobble in that tire and had to replace it. I think a full size spare, or even the doughnut would be better, unless you have to inflate and get on your way as quickly as possible.

2nd: I totally agree that it would be easy to call CAA if you arent in too much of a hurry...but it seems cell phones don't always work when you need them. You can be out in the middle of nowhere and that's exactly where there is probably no service.

Bikeman982

A couple of things about the above posts.First: I've used a tire sealant years ago in my van and because of my haste, I had a wobble in that tire and had to replace it. I think a full size spare, or even the doughnut would be better, unless you have to inflate and get on your way as quickly as possible.

 

2nd: I totally agree that it would be easy to call CAA if you arent in too much of a hurry...but it seems cell phones don't always work when you need them. You can be out in the middle of nowhere and that's exactly where there is probably no service.

Spare tires are only meant for emergencies and to get you to the nearest repair place, or phone to call for help.