Monday, May 21, 2012

What Spare Tire?

Last night I had not one but two flat tires on my car. At first I thought something was wrong with the power steering. After driving a mile from the office I was convinced something was not right and I had better look BEFORE I get on the Interstate. I discovered I had one completely flat tire and another 1/2 flat.

My first thought (before I noticed the 1/2 flat tire) was. "I can deal with this. I'm supposed to be prepared." So I open the trunk and then the problems begin:

1. How do I get the jack out? It was wedged into a storage slot.  I opened the car manual which I keep in the glove compartment and learned I had to turn a knob to loosen it.

2. The spare tire - it looked OK. I have not checked it in 10 years so I'm lucky it was not flat, that can happen. But there was also 10 years of rust on the wingnut holding it in place and the wingnut refused to budge. I had some pliers in a car-kit but no wrench and no WD40.

3. At this point a co-worker saw me and offered me his spare tire and a full size tire he just happened to have in his car. His car is a Honda Civic, mine a Honda Accord. The tires looked the same size but I noticed they had different part #'s

4. Given the problems mounting I called the Roadside Assistance program I'm a member of and someone arrived 40 minutes later. There was nothing to read in the car so I listened to my commuting lecture CD while waiting.

5. I had forgotten to recharge my cell phone (which I usually do on Mondays). Fortunately it still had 1/2 battery and lasted long enough.

6. The mechanic found a nail in the half-flat tire, pulled it, plugged the hole and reinflated the tire. He could not find a leak in the full flat until I suggested the valve stem.

7. He could not get my spare loose either and the temp spare from my coworker did not fit the bolts. However the full size tire my coworker had did fit and got me home.

8. The mechanic charged extra for patching the one tire and expected payment on the spot for that (all else was covered by the plan). I was short on cash but across the street from a bank with an ATM.

I was VERY lucky that things did not turn out worse:
* I had never checked the spare in 10 years
* I had no experience with replacing a tire on my current car with the jack provided
* My cell phone was undercharged
* I should have never left the office parking lot
* I was low on cash

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Blogger Rita said...

That’s really unfortunate! Yet, I think you manage to handle the situation pretty well, calling roadside assistance to help. You didn’t even have the proper tools to change your tire, so even if you have a spare at hand, you wouldn’t just be able to fix it. In times like this, it’s better to let a professional do the job.

Rita McCall

November 12, 2012 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Tyra Shortino said...

Having your spare tire unchecked for 10 years is not good. You’re pretty lucky, though, that when you did need it, it didn't disappoint you. Despite all those problems, you were able to pull it off. :)


November 23, 2012 at 1:29 PM  

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