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(Outline and speech reprinted by permission of student speaker Joan Cohen.)
How to Change a Tire without Ge=ng Hurt or Killed
General Purpose: To inform
Specific Purpose: To explain to my listeners how to change ;res on a car safely and easily.
Central Idea: To change a ;re without ge@ng hurt or killed, a person should follow three important
steps- make the car safe and visible, prepare the car for ;re change, and correctly put the spare ;re on
1. A flat ;re is more than an irrita;on. It can endanger your life. Last year, the Na;onal Safety
Council said, more than 1,400 Americans were killed or hurt while working on their cars on the
2. You can follow three simple steps to avoid being hurt or killed while changing a flat ;re. First,
make the car safe and visible. Second, prepare the care for a safe change. Third, change ;res
correctly. I am assuming that you always carry a spare, a ;re-changing kit, and an owner’s
(Transi;on: Let me give you the details of these steps.)
1. Make car safe and visible.
A. Make sure car is clear of all traffic.
I. Drive as far off the road as possible.
II. Leave enough room for you to work.
B. Make car conspicuous.
I. Put on emergency flashers.
II. Raise the hood.
III. Put a white cloth on the door handle.
C. Make sure the car is on level ground.
(Transi;on: Once the car is safe and visible, you are ready for the second step.)
2. Prepare the car for ;re change.
A. Put car in gear.
I. For automa;c transmission, put in “park”
II. For standard transmission, put in lowest gear.
B. Put emergency brake on.
C. Block opposite wheel.
I. This will prevent car from rolling.
II. Use piece of wood or stone.
(Transi;on: If you follow all of the procedures so far, you can feel confident that you are safe
for the actual opera;on you are about to perform.)
3. Put spare ;re on car.
A. Loosen each lug out.
I. Use lug wrench.
II. Loosen each lug nut one turn.
B. Jack up car.
I. Follow owners’ manual for your car.
II. Remove lug nuts.
C. Change ;res.
I. Put spare ;re on.
II. Be careful not to jar car off jack.
III. Tighten lug nuts snugly but not as hard as possible.
a. Don’t ;ghten in a circle.
b. Tighten one, then the one opposite, and so on.
IV. Lower car to ground.
V. Tighten nuts as hard as you can.
(Transi;on: As you can see, these steps are easy to follow: let’s review the highlights.)
1. The first thing to do is to make sure your car is in a safe place- on level ground, clear of
all traffic, and with plenty of room for you to work. Make sure the car is conspicuous by
turning on your emergency flashers, raising the hood, and tying a white cloth to the door
handle. Put your car in gear, put the emergency brake on, and block the opposite wheel.
Then loosen the lug nuts, jack up the car, and change the ;re, using your owners’
manual as your guide.
2. If you follow the steps I have given you today, a flat ;re is just a nuisance. If you don’t
follow them, it could mean injury or death.
Sandra Bundy, The Breakdown Book, (New York: Shell Oil Co., undated), pp. 3-6
Ted Mathis, owner, Mathis Gulf Sta;on, Merrimon Ave., personal interview, August 11, 1988.
Three posters showing the three main points.