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Picture of How to Change a Tire
Flat tires are never a fun thing—but this one takes the cake. It’s late, of course, and in the middle of a frog-choking rain. You’re stuck in the ankle-deep mud on the shoulder of a deserted road. How deserted? Out-of-cellphone-coverage deserted, or you’d be sitting in the cab of a service truck while somebody else gets drenched. That’s how deserted.

Yes, you could drive along the shoulder on the rim for a few miles to civilization, but insurance won’t cover the damage to your expensive alloy rim. It’s time to knuckle down and put on the spare. A pressure can of flat-fix foam can get you home if the problem is a simple puncture, and that may be a viable option, especially for smaller individuals or the elderly who would have a tough time changing a tire. Just remember two things: This stuff is a temporary solution, and the flat will need to be attended to by a tire technician at the earliest opportu-nity. Be sure to warn the technician that you’ve used this stuff. The propellant is flammable, and unless he’s warned, he stands the chance of causing a nasty explosion.

This project was originally published in the November 2002 issue of Popular Mechanics. You can find more great projects at Popular Mechanics DIY Central.