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#301381 - 01/03/23 11:22 PM Minor Auto Incident
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
On New Year’s Day, I roused myself to help out a disabled relative with a flat tire, relatively early in the day.

Some things done well and some lessons learned to recap:
  • The relative pulled the car over in a safe place before doing anything else, and I very was happy about that
  • The relative’s vehicle is well maintained for the most part
  • I had purchased an aftermarket extendable lug wrench for this relative and it worked well, giving me plenty of leverage
  • The owners manual was where it was supposed to be, which allowed us to confirm that the jacking point I wanted to use was correct
  • Having wet wipes on hand was great
  • Scissor jacks still work, but they also still suck
  • The donut spare was good, but this was luck more than good equipment maintenance
  • I would have been smarter to bring an impact driver, which I have — this isn’t as good as an air-powered impact wrench, but I know from experience that with a bit of care they are easier than a lug wrench
  • The plastic fastener holding the hub of the donut spare in place was well and truly frozen, requiring me to get some pliers out of my emergency kit to unscrew it — I will be suggesting that my relative to put some additional tools in this car
  • I forgot to put work gloves on before starting — while I didn’t hurt my hands this wasn’t smart and led to a large number of wet wipes being expended before we left
  • There was standing water in the spare tire well which didn’t do the retaining fastener or the tools a lick of good — I will take on a regular task to inspect the spare tire well and the tools therein, and I might need to get the seals replaced for the hatch to keep the water out

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#301385 - 01/04/23 11:21 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 601
Loc: Orlando, FL
Chaosmagnet, the only other thing I might mention is a long cheater bar. The last time I got the call I was near home and decided to stop by and grab the aluminum floor jack. The floor jack made jacking the car easy, pulling the handle off to use as a cheater bar was priceless. I was using enough force I wasn't sure what was going to give up first, my half inch ratchet, the stud, or the lug nut. Fortunately, it was the lug nut.

I've given up on scissor jacks for cars, last time I used one it collapsed and I dropped a Benz. That was entertaining, always happens when you have an audience. It really wasn't the jacks fault, the car had an electronic parking brake that was less than stellar. No one was harmed and I didn't hurt the car. Lesson learned, I carry a set of wheel chocks too.

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#301386 - 01/05/23 01:31 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
The extendable lug wrench is in place of a cheater bar. I’m not sure that my relative would permit the emplacement of more tools in the vehicle.

I’ve procured an inexpensive “impact driver to lug wrench” set and a “drill to scissor jack adapter” bit that will live with my battery-operated power tools henceforward.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I learned that an impact driver (typically battery operated, designed for driving lots of fasteners quickly) is not the same as an impact wrench (typically operates on compressed air, designed for high torque applications). Impact drivers carry somewhat more risk of injury when used on lug nuts.

Up until now I haven’t wanted to invest in a nicer jack to carry around, or chocks, due to space constraints. If I ever go back to driving a larger vehicle I may feel differently, but the trunk of my car already has a lot in it. It would be easy enough to have those tools at home for issues like this though. I’ll look into it.

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#301387 - 01/05/23 11:59 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2995
There are both impact drivers and impact wrenches that are battery powered. I have this battery powered impact wrench https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Products/2555P-20. One battery is sufficient to do a 5 tire rotation on my truck, so should be plenty for a car.

If your outfitting a friend/someone with a car put the cheater bar in the spare tire well. They can be used for more than just a cheater bar.


Edited by Eugene (01/06/23 12:02 AM)

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#301420 - 01/27/23 05:40 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
Chisel Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1562
Thanks for the report

A few years ago, I added a tire pump in the car tool collection
It saved the day multiple times. When tubeless tires go flat, you can inflate them enough to drive to the nearest service station. This saves us older folks from the difficult (sometimes dangerous) task of changing tires

It is worth adding that as an option

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#301421 - 01/28/23 02:36 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2995
I have an old jump start/air compressor my dad gave me. I had to replace the battery, was $70, but I toss it in the truck for any trips out of town or bike rides. Super easy to just clip it on the tire valve, flip the switch and sit back down and wait.

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#301422 - 01/28/23 02:37 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Both my car and my relative’s car have a “jump pack” that includes a compressor. These aren’t the very small (and IMO nearly worthless) lithium ion packs, they are large SLA units. They need to be charged monthly and after each use, and they are.

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#301562 - 03/28/23 12:31 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2208
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Just a suggestion to NOT tighten wheel lug nuts using an impact wrench due to their high torque. Tighten by hand - preferably with a torque wrench.

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#301563 - 03/31/23 01:14 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: KenK]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: KenK
Just a suggestion to NOT tighten wheel lug nuts using an impact wrench due to their high torque. Tighten by hand - preferably with a torque wrench.


Agreed. I don't own that kind of torque wrench (I have one suitable for WECSOG[*]) but I would have used the impact wrench to take the lug nuts off and spin them back on for tightening with the lug wrench.






[* -- Wyle E. Coyote School Of Gunsmithing]

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#301575 - 04/16/23 07:21 AM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
Acropolis50 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 69
A trick I learned from an old Popular Science Magazine , many decades ago, after I had already had the bad experience. Always carry a small can of penetrating oil in ur car tool kit or tire change kit. ( Or maybe WD-40 today?). If u have to change a tire, squirt a bit of said oil on top of and face of ,still fastened lug nut . Then hit the lug nut, a few times, somewhat sharply with the lug wrench and wait a minute before you try to unscrew the lug nuts.

The idea is to get the vibration to help the lubricant into the screws so they loosen more easily, especially in wet freezing conditions. That way it’s more likely to come off from even hand power and a short lug wrench. You can wipe it clean afterwards.

Ask me how I know this is a good idea: Changing a flat snow tire in the middle of a snow storm aand braking the lug and nut off as I leaned down on it to loosen it and injured my knuckles pretty badly, despite my heavy leather work gloves. as the lug broke off and my straight / elbow locked arm got driven into the pavement.

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#301576 - 04/16/23 01:23 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
That sounds awful Acropolis50.

I’d rather not carry any aerosols in the trunk but I’ll look into adding a liquid alternative.

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#301577 - 04/17/23 05:56 AM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
Acropolis50 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/20/19
Posts: 69
Chaos: The penetrating oil I use is, Liquid Wrench. My can is old and it’s a couple of ounces in a metal can, like the old “ 3 in 1 Oil” can. A quick Google search showed me you can still buy the same, liquid product in a 4oz. plastic bottle, for about $5, plus shipping. Maybe u can also find it in a good local hardware store.


Edited by Acropolis50 (04/17/23 05:59 AM)

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#301578 - 04/17/23 01:26 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3821
Loc: USA
Liquid Wrench is one of my "go-to's". Thanks!

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#301579 - 04/17/23 08:37 PM Re: Minor Auto Incident [Re: Acropolis50]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2995
Wd-40 isn't designed to be a penetrating oil though is will some but an actual penetrating oil will do better.
But this is why I bought the battery powered impact wrench, I've broken enough bolts and busted enough skin that its worth it to let the tool do the work now a days.

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