1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Would you be able to jump start a car or change a tyre?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Diddums, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Diddums


    Joined: Oct 24, 2012

    Posts: 18,232

    Location: London

    General public question, hence here.

    Say your car won't start. Someone offers to help and has jump leads but no idea how to use them. Would you know what to do without googling it?

    And the next one:

    If you suffered a flat and got stuck would you be able to fit your spare tyre if you have one?

    And be honest, just like I am not embarrassed to admit I probably couldn't install a watercooling loop without drowning myself, there's no need to feel embarrassed if you can't do either of these jobs.

    I'm genuinely curious. I know how to perform both of these and most other basic maintenance on a car but I seem to be in a minority. Just a couple of months ago I saw one of my neighbours call out the AA to fit his spare tyre for him. He must be 28ish. Obviously he may have had a flat spare which is why he called them out but it still raised my curiosity.

    Tonight I was picking up some food on the way home when I saw a chap in a Volvo station wagon asking someone, jump leads in hand, to give him a jump. The guy he was asking couldn't have been over 30 but refused as he didn't know how it would affect his car (Golf mk6). I watched this for a few minutes and then being the gift to humanity I am I offered. I pulled up my car so the batteries were as close as could be, opened the bonnet, removed the battery cover, red first then black, gave it some beans and his Volvo fired right up.

    This again made me wonder. In South Africa these aren't specialist skills, if you get stuck by the side of the road you can be hundreds of miles from any civilization and the AA works on a calendar rather than a clock, so if you break down and can't find the A-team, you need to know how to reduce the chances of having to call out a tow truck which in South Africa are known as vultures and will happily tow you home for £500 odd (yes pounds, not rands).

    I thought most people would know. I am surprised to find that this is often not the case.

    So, can you?
  2. Maccy


    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 35,154

    Location: Back in Blighty

    Yes. I’m alpha male though.
  3. Malevolence


    Joined: Oct 21, 2011

    Posts: 12,471

    As the son of a mechanic and a practitioner of the dark art of bangernomics, yes to both.
  4. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,166

    City people init. I know the basics. I did try and change a gearbox about 12 years ago and kind of managed it. Haven't tinkered with cars since then. It's just lego, get the instructions and change the part.
  5. Kelt


    Joined: Nov 14, 2007

    Posts: 9,206

    Location: With the færies

    Yes to both.

    And I used to start my dad's car with a starting handle!

    Wonder how many guys and gals would be able to do that (without breaking their wrist!) :p
  6. Werewolf


    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 27,539

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    I suspect there is a large element of people tend to be driving newer cars and know less about them these days as the days of virtually every car owner having to use the skills on a semi regular basis is long gone.

    Also there are IIRC warnings in the manuals for some cars about jumpstarting.

    I know how to do it, have had to do it, but only about twice in twenty years.
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 62,643

    Done both before but it has been so long I'd probably google it to make sure I was doing it right these days.

    A lot of people I know wouldn't even attempt it for themselves.
  8. Conscript


    Joined: Oct 18, 2004

    Posts: 9,020

    Location: Kent

    Yes to both, and have done a couple of times.
  9. Diddums


    Joined: Oct 24, 2012

    Posts: 18,232

    Location: London

    Seems to be more of a generational thing. There are of course many variables in this, the most obviois being that cars are leased and probably come with breakdown cover and doing any work yourself could be against the terms of the lease so that could be one explanation, but I think I'd rather spend 15 mins changing a tyre myself than waiting four hours for the AA to arrive.

    I think many people just don't care as well, and why would they? Let other people get paid to do it.
  10. .:MBK:.


    Joined: Jan 30, 2004

    Posts: 4,427

    Location: Harrogate

    No to jumping, never had to, and the last car you would have done more damage anyway. Wheels are on the proviso that the last mechanic to touch them didn't use their gun at some silly torque, I don't make a habit of leaving a breaker bar in the car.
  11. craigxt22


    Joined: Dec 23, 2009

    Posts: 302

    Change a tyre on the side of a road? Nope. Can easily change a wheel with the spare one though
  12. Brizzles


    Joined: Mar 16, 2005

    Posts: 6,577

    Location: Clevedon , Bristol

    I don't have a car, never owned or driven a car, but yes to both

    By change a tyre you mean spare wheel i hope. Wouldn't even attempt to fit a tyre
  13. Yadda

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,238

    Location: Baa

  14. chaparral


    Joined: Nov 27, 2005

    Posts: 19,275

    I still remember when you used to be able to start a car by turning an ignition key...:D
  15. bowey


    Joined: Jul 28, 2009

    Posts: 793

    Location: Norton

    Yes but my hobbies when I was a kid was fixing cars and motorbikes so not the usual, my brother and father on the other hand have to ring me when anything like a wheel change or not starting problem arises but I think it's more laziness than anything.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  16. Diddums


    Joined: Oct 24, 2012

    Posts: 18,232

    Location: London

    Obviously I meant wheel. Nobody's carrying a bloody tyre removal rig in the boot of their car, are they?

    Are they?
  17. Andy__C


    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 921

    Location: Cardiff

    Yes, but i'm old enough to have owned a battered mk1 fiesta as my first car and so it was par for the course.

    I've actually changed both a tyre and jump started a car for strangers in the last few months after not doing either for years..... still got it
  18. OpenToSuggestions


    Joined: Aug 5, 2006

    Posts: 10,450

    Location: Derby

    Yes I could do both.
    I remember my 80 year old grandma saying recently that provided she had someone to lift the wheel itself she could change a wheel no problem.
    No excuse for a driver not being able to do the basics imo.
  19. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,166

    Well you've nailed it then. more money in the world, more cars, more finance options, cheaper breakdown. Was just looking myself at breakdown is £35 per year if I read it right, well that's the cheapest option. So tbh I would probably call them myself.
  20. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,166

    Was my first car also.