Saturday, March 14, 2015

That Friday the 13th thing again

You might recall I had a tire problem last month, shortly after Friday the 13th. Part of the problem was that the spare tire wouldn't release. It would crank down part way then hang up. Though the guys at the tire shop originally thought they could get the spare out, they couldn't. They said I'd probably need to go to a Chevy dealer. Being a wandering guy, I couldn't get an appointment with a service department that didn't require me to wait a week. So I crossed my fingers and went on with life.

But my inner worry wart said, "You really should deal with that spare tire problem."

"Yeah, I know."

"There might be information online."


Boy, was there ever. It seems most owners of Chevy and GMC pickups, SUVs and vans eventually have this problem. They curse the design of the secondary latch system, which gets corroded, rusted, jammed with dirt. Then they show what to do about it.

Thanks to YouTube and disgruntled truck owners with video cameras, I understood what needed to be done. But the troubling device is hard to reach. My former shop teacher would say it required 17 little boys and a monkey to get in there and fix it. I only had Lou, who is neither a little boy nor a monkey.

But I figured if corrosion was the problem, then it might help to shoot some WD-40 up there. I could do that while Lou finished his lunch.

So, there I was, on my back under the Rolling Steel Tent, trying to hold the dangling tire up with one hand while squirting WD-40 with the other. To my surprise, WD-40 did the trick. Suddenly. Also to my surprise, part of my thumb got pinched between the wheel and the thingie that holds it up. Ow. The hand that had been spraying WD-40 was at a bad angle to lift the tire, so my thumb stayed pinched for several seconds. Ow. But I was happy. Ow. The spare tire was free. Ow.

"Lou. Good news! WD-40 did the trick!"


"Bad news: I buggered up my thumb in the process."

Being a kind, helpful guy rather than a little boy or a monkey, Lou got out his first aid supplies, cleaned and disinfected the gash and bandaged it up. I popped an antibiotic pill I had left over from a previous self-inflicted wound. This morning my thumb is a little tender but mostly okay. But I got the spare tire thing working, for free, so it was worth it.

I'm not superstitious, but having a bit of bad luck—twice—on Friday the 13th or thereabouts almost has me believing. But I absolutely believe in WD-40.


  1. Ow, that hurt, sorry for your pain, but thanks for the info, I own an SUV and will get a bottle of WD 40 to use and have on hand.

    1. You know what they say about an once of prevention, right? So I think it's better to keep that mechanism well lubricated in order to keep corrosion from happening in the first place. That's much easier to do while it's still working properly. Lower the tire and slather grease all over the mechanism every year or so. That's what I'll be doing.

    2. YEP, one ounce of prevention is much better than ' the cure ', thus when we perform manual labor is advisable to use sturdy gloves, they prevent painful boo-booes to our hands.

    3. I have some nice heavy duty work gloves, but I thought I'd just be spraying some WD-40. Surprise.

  2. Ouch. All this kinda makes me glad my spare's inside the cabin bungeed to the side of a desk. Gobbles up space but functions as an ad hoc ottoman of sorts.