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Coup-fourré! Roadside Skills for Non-Greasemonkeys
Saturday, December 19, 2009 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EST)
Why wait for a tow truck when you can probably fix it faster? Let's get (just a little) dirty! This is a hands-on class covering the basics of roadside mishap management. If you've never used jumper cables or changed a flat tire, this afternoon is for you! As with most i3Detroit classes, non-members are most welcome to attend. A donation will help with materials and costs, five dollars is suggested.
Repairing a flat: In the case of most punctures, the tire can be plugged and repressurized without even removing the wheel from the car. The kits only cost a few bucks, and are really easy to use, once you know the trick! We will have a tire to practice on, so you'll get to pound a nail into the sucker, then repair the hole!
Changing a tire: Sometimes you can't fix the damage, or just can't find it, or don't have a patch kit and compressor handy. Swapping the donut spare is easy in principle, but like everything, there are tricks, and practice makes it easier! Do it once in the warm, dry shop and you'll be better equipped for the dark, muddy roadside.
Jumper cables 101: Everyone should own a set, and most of us have probably used 'em. But do you know the order for safely connecting and disconnecting the clips? It's hard to remember, unless you understand why it should be done that way. Learn the whys and hows of jump-starting, and when to not even bother trying.
What's that light mean? When your car's computer detects trouble, it could talk to you, or spit out a printed diagnostic. These days, it could even SMS you. But it doesn't. Nope, all you get is a little "service engine soon" light on the dashboard, and no hint of what it means. To find out, you need a code reader, and we've got one! We'll plug it into as many cars as time allows, and cast through the entrails to divine their secrets.
Squirt, squirt, wipe, wipe. Windshield wipers are so simple, but the little clippy things that hold 'em on are as annoying as... well, that other thing called Clippy! Snag some new wipers before the class, and we'll make the swap easy. (Optionally, we can show you how to make lockpicks from your old wiper blades! After the class...)
(About the event title: "Coup-fourré" is French for "counter-thrust", and appears here because of its use in Mille Bornes, a card game based on car racing. When a road hazard (flat tire, out of gas, etc) hits a player, and the player has the corresponding safety card (puncture-proof, extra tank) in their hand, they can play it immediately and score extra points. This move is called coup-fourré, and highlights the smug satisfaction of being prepared. Aren't you glad you asked?)
When & Where
i3 Detroit is a DIY collective in Ferndale, with tools and resources to facilitate a wide variety of projects. The name stands for "Imagine, Innovate, and Inspire".
Supported by its members but open to guests as well, i3 Detroit's facility hosts workshops and classes as often as possible. Led by volunteer instructors (mostly members), these are usually free, but may require a materials fee for participation.
When there's no class happening (and sometimes when there is!), you'll usually find members in the space, soldering, sewing, welding, sculpting, programming, woodworking, or just hanging out.
Founded in 2009, i3 Detroit has about 70 members and funds its operation mostly through member dues. Donations from students and guests are always appreciated, and have the potential to substantially increase our resources!