Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Do You Know How To Change A Spare Tire?

It's a practical, everyday skill

According to a recent Skills Canada survey, many Canadians don't have practical, everyday skills. The survey results aren't surprising to many of us in the skilled trades, we've long known that Canada is facing a critical skilled labour shortage. Ask anyone who recruits skilled tradespeople and they'll attest that it's difficult to find good skilled workers. 

The survey results are interesting. Amongst the skills asked, 48% of women and 6% of men polled indicated that they didn't know how to change a spare tire. In another skill that is traditionally gender biased, 63% of men and 27% of women said they didn't know how to sew a button.
"There's a serious underlying message here that many Canadians are lacking basic, practical knowledge when it comes to completing everyday skills, admitting they require help," said Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills/Compétences Canada. "...the growing shortage of skilled trade workers is not only a concern for industry - it is only a matter of time before every Canadian will feel the impact in their everyday lives."
So here's a question, when was the last time you changed a spare tire?
It's always a good idea to change your spare tire once before an actual emergency. That way you're prepared, are familiar with the tools and have been through the process. Who wants to go through the process of changing the flat tire for the first time when you're in a time crunch? So next time the laundry's all folded, kitchen is clean, groceries put away and the kids are at a playdate, practice changing your spare!
The instructions for changing your spare tire can be found in your owner's manual. Castrol also has some helpful steps posted. Things you need include:
  • A lug wrench 
  • A jack 
  • Work gloves 
  • A tarp, sheet of plastic, or a few garbage bags
In case you have to change a flat at night time, include these:
  • An emergency reflector triangle or flares 
  • A flashlight 
At my repair shop, AutoNiche, we periodically hold car clinics in conjunction with Sweetie Girl Racing. A hands-on workshop we have is spare tire change, where participants change their car's spare tire with us. 
Remember to keep your spare tire properly inflated because nothing's worse than having to change a flat tire and finding out that your spare is flat too!