March 04, 2005

Nothing spoils my Friday

I work early hours so as to avoid traffic. I'm in the office before 6am and scoot out at 3 in the afternoon. Usually it works pretty well. Today though, as I walked up to my truck, I saw the right front tire was mostly flat.

I've had this truck for almost 5 years now, and never have I had any problems with it. Not even a flat tire. But what the heck, that's a simple thing to take care of, so I took off my tie (yep, all dressed up), and got ready to get it done.

Everything went fine until I'd gotten the flat tire off and went to put the spare on. Problem was, the jack was fully extended and it wasn't up high enough for the wheel to fit back over the lugs. Couldn't fit the flat back on there either, because it wasn't a complete flat so it had regained it's shape without the weight of the truck on it. I think the jack is broken and won't extend as far as it should.

As I was standing there laughing (my car insurance coverage includes this kind of situation, but on a Friday afternoon it'd take forever. I was resigned to it now.), a coworker walked by and suggested one of the guys in the office who drives in (most everyone - except me - takes mass transit to work). There ya go, I borrow his jack, get the tire on, and I'm outta dodge.

Done, done and done. With very little additional complication, I pulled out of there an hour late and right into the teeth of weekend getaway traffic. My normal 35 minutes drive took an hour forty-five, thanks to a couple of accidents way south of where my exit was.

And I'm still in a good mood. We had dinner, and then Liz and I went to the grocery store together to get the hell away for a little while. We haven't done shopping together in ages, so that was nice.

Tomorrow morning I'll take the tire to the service station and see if it can be fixed. If not, I'll get a new tire. Ho hum. Not a problem. No sweat. No biggie.

It's not gonna spoil my weekend either.

Posted by Ted at March 4, 2005 09:25 PM
Category: Square Pegs

I bet you're driving a Dodge ram, I had the same problem with my factory jack. I now carry a nice little bottle jack, with dunnage- just in case.

Posted by: KurtP at March 4, 2005 10:12 PM

Nope, it's a Mazda mid-sized, with a bottle jack. Another problem with it is that instead of pumping up and down on the handle, you turn it in a circle with the tire iron to raise/lower. I found the tip of the tire iron, which is also the jack handle is shredding because it doubles as a wheel trim remover (soft plastic). I'm thinking I need to invest in a scissors jack of my own.

Posted by: Ted at March 5, 2005 07:41 AM

I loved my Chevy Blazer's jack. All the jacks I had before were the down-on-yer-knees-and-hand-crank version. With my Chevy I could stand and pump it with my leg. Sweet.

Before you buy a new tire, make sure the one you have isn't warrantied. If it's been on the car since it was new, and that was five years ago, forget it. But, if you bought the tires yourself (say, from Town Fair Tire) they might have a retailer's lifetime warranty and they'll either fix the flat or give you a new tire and only charge you for "balancing" (even if they just give you the tire back). Last few flats I had only cost a few bucks rather than the $75 a new one would've cost.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at March 5, 2005 06:37 PM
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