Flat tires

You know, sometimes there are days where we just want to go back to bed, cover our heads and pretend the day didn’t happen.

For me, this morning was one of them.

Things stared off okay, if cold.  Kids up and ready on time. Shower nice and hot. Lunch already prepared and ready for me to toss in my bag.  I started up the car and let it warm up a hair. Played with the kitten for a few moments.  Kissed B and I was off.

It was actually a beautiful morning. Cloudy skies but the colors of fall this year are spectacular. Reds and golds and even the browns have a vibrancy that lingers from the remains of green.  And since it’s a bit windy I drive a bit slower today.  I guess kind of lucky for me in the long run.

I checked the tires yesterday as B had commented on Monday night he thought a tire was low.  I check them every week usually on Monday or Tuesday and sure enough, I had one low tire. The back-passenger tire was 8 lbs low. While airing it up, I noticed a crack in the side. Mentally, I moved getting new tires to the top of the to-buy list.

So this morning, I hit interstate, and bring my car up to speed. And yes, I’m still staying below the posted speed limit because the wind gusts toss my car about some days. About 2 miles up the road I feel the back wiggle and hear that all too familiar flat tire sound: bwawug, bwawug, bwawug.  Luckily there isn’t anything behind me as I pull over to the shoulder, hazard lights flashing.

I pop the trunk, get out of the car and go look. I have my fingers crossed that the can of fix-a-flat is going to come in handy today. But as I look at the tire, I know that can of foam isn’t going to do me any good. That crack in the side has turned into a big gaping hole.   Lovely

I’ve changed tires before. Many tires. In fact, the first time I took out the car on my own after my 16th birthday, I had a flat. Pulling out the spare, the jack and the lug nut wrench, I figured I could have the car back on the road in about 15 minutes tops.

The car came with a scissor jack.  You know, the type that has a threaded bar that you have to crank up. I hate those things. They take a lot of effort to use, and I have seen them fail.  But this is what we have in the car, so it is what we use when we need to jack  up the beast. I get down on the ground, and see I have to crank the jack down lower so that I can fit it into the proper spot. And just a bit lower.  The jack clicks, and top portion sits lower than I intend and pinches my finger.  I try turning the bar the other way to get it to go back up–It doesn’t.

Sitting beside the car, I realize that the reason this jack hasn’t been too cooperative, is that the threads are being stripped on the end piece. I can’t get the threads on the bar to catch so that I can use the jack.  (Insert not pleasant word)

I call B first. He hasn’t been sleeping well lately and has drifted back into his night shift hours. (after working nearly 2 years on the dark side, it’s been hard for him to adjust to daylight hours) I wait patiently as the phone rings and he picks up. Next, I call a friend to see if she’ll pick B up and bring him here to help me. (Sharing 1 car is economical, but in situations like this, sucks.) Then I sit  in the car to wait.

About 15 minutes later, B and my friend show up. B gives me a hug and asks if I’m okay then goes to change the tire. Ten minutes and it’s done.

So B and my friend head back home; I head on to work. I get here just a few minutes late. At lunch I make a few few calls and find a used replacement tire. I hope this one holds for a little while longer.




4 responses to “Flat tires

  1. Lousy way to start the day, glad you got it taken care of.

    As I’ve mentioned to you previously, I’ve never changed a tire. I have, however, been a AAA member for ages, and it has been well worth it. For $60 a year, even one service call or tow and it has paid for itself. And I’ve used it. The car I’m driving now is 22 years old, I can’t afford NOT to have AAA.


  2. well right now I can’t afford the $60 membership. Maybe later but right now just spending that $25 for a tire is a severe blow to the already struggling budget. It will work out though. It always does.


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