(Note - this post was actually from a couple days ago. It contains “car” content, and pretty immediately upon posting it, something in the blog database went under the waves, and extensive error messages propogated. I’m hoping that it wasn’t a function of the content. I’m taking the big chance and reposting it. Hopefully if I add a subtitle, the software may allow me to make an auto-related post…)
Three of a Perfect Pair
- or -
“Why Cars Suck”
As I’ve mentioned earlier, these things happen in threes…
Had to run a car errand the yesterday (boo!), and popped the brake off to
roll back down to the road. Except, in this instance, it appeared that
someone had flicked off the “GRAVITY” switch in our neighborhood and nothing happened. While I paused to ponder this non-event, the possibilities included (a) a large animal had decided to sleep against the rear bumper of the vehicle, (b) the recent cold weather had frozen the tires to the concrete, (c) me, having not driven in a while, had forgotten something basic, like taking it out of a forward gear and (d) a non-round tire.
The answer was (d) a non-round tire. (Thing #1.)
So, in good iBOB fashion, I put on the “compact” spare with a minimum of fuss and lowered it back down. That tire had slightly more air, but not by much, so I slowly set off in search of a gas station. Cranked the air pressure up to the specified 60#’s, and then brought the other three tires up to spec. The last tire was the other rear. As soon as it was up to 32#’s, it suddenly began morphing into a mutant balloon animal shaped object.
Cognitive dissonance time. My ears wanted me to run away, while my hands were scrambling to grab the valve stem and relieve pressure. The hands won, and luckily moved quickly enough to get the separating sections of the tire back into reasonably proximity with one another.
This photo was snapped while back at minimum driving pressure, and you can see a bit of structural instability near the middle of the tread. (Thing #2) The cold and sun and lack of use had not been good to this tiny automotive tire. But, it
made it through gingerly erranding and then it didn’t im- or ex-plode overnight, and we all (well, me, the car and a bike so I could get where I needed to be - darned reliable, those bicyles…) limped over the hill to the local tire shop, where a suitable and inexpensive set of replacements were agreed upon. The service writer had jumped into the car and moved it a
touch closer while we’d talked. When I turned to go get my bike out of the car and head to work, I asked for my keys back. The SW said he’d left ‘em in the ignition. And there they were. Inside the locked car.
That’d be Thing #3…
While I’m calling the person I’d be meeting a little later than planned, the visibly-sweating-but-now-very-quiet service writer tried to figure out which one of the wrenches knew how to use the slim-jim set they had hidden in the back. I’m actually really trying not to openly laugh - and just to be clear, at the situation rather than the poor guy. The meeting’s not that big a deal, and I’ve worked too many years in retail to start being a retail creech. It really does strike me as funny, too. About 10 minutes later, everything’s opened and I’m riding (yay!) over to work on a crisp, clear morning.