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There must be something in the rubber

November 24, 2008

My car is old, a 1995 Nissan, that I bought in a nice, oxidized blackish color.  Actually I didn’t buy it that way, it’s sort of developed overtime, it’s tre original. I talk shit about my car all the time, but truth is I bought it way back when so that I would have a car that would last me a good ten years (check) and not be the bane of my existence (check).  I paid it off more than five years ago and since then have been hell bent on not sinking money into repairs that would off-set the cost savings of not having car payment.  So my engine leaks an almost obscene amount of oil, I battle that by getting more-than-regular oil changes and keeping a fresh quart in the trunk at all times.  So my air conditioner doesn’t work, I just try not to go anywhere in the dead of summer w/o  a bucket of ice or a fierce breeze.  Basically unless the car won’t run or unless the safety inspectors won’t release it without certain “fixes”, I leave everything as is.

This mantra also applies to my tires, in that they are the same tires I drove off the lot with ten+ years ago.  In addition to the inherent safety issues with this scenario, they have also taken to developing slow leaks which I like to combat with regular visits to Free Air stations and to my local repair shop for tire patches.  After my third patch in as many months, on the same tire (don’t judge), I began to feel nervous about driving the car any distance greater than four miles.  The last patch came about after returning home from this month’s business trip to find the rear, driver’s side tire flat–again.  Usually I can get to the deflating tire before it goes flat, but being out of town I missed my window.  So Jen drove me over to Cherrydale Hardware on the Sunday of my return to buy a can of Fix-A-Flat.  Applying Reddi Whip for tire holes was easy as pie, and it inflated well enough for me to tool around town running errands.  However laziness soon took over and a week had gone by and I was still tooling around on fixed flat tire.  Then on my way to go visit the illustrious Jen, I get a text from her that SHE had a flat on her way home.  She who took me to the hardware store.  Eesh!  So I am now I am just tempting fate.  I push it out of my head as I get up in the morning to drive to Springfield to meet these two chicks for coffee.  However concern morphs to apprehension when I hear than Jen has gotten another flat…Jen, not me with the crappy tires. Not me who has to get in the car and drive to Fredericksburg in a matter of minutes.

The whole way down I-95 I had visions of spiraling out of control on a blown out tire, so after completing my errand and happening upon a little tire shop I did the responsible thing and had them change my tires on the spot.  All four of them, not just the one that had gone flat three times.  I felt all good about being responsible as I headed back north.  I swear I even felt the nicer ride, chugging along on the un-bald rubber.  The ride felt nicer that is until I was fighting with my steering wheel to keep the car moving in a straight line.  The more I fought, the more I cursed the tiny tire shop for messing with my alignment until it got so bad I decided to get off at the next exit.  Some horrendous sounds and a visual proof finally confirmed that my tire was flat.  Like way flat, like soooo not a slow leak flat.  Bastards.

Forty-five minutes of tearing up my trunk turned up a spare tire, a tire iron, and a jack’s hand crank…and no jack.  So what do I do?  Taking stock of my surroundings I call the closest and strongest person I know, Harmony.  She brings a jack but within two minutes she also finds my jack that was in my trunk in some secret squirrel trunk compartment.  Brilliant.  We get the jack in place and set about loosening some lug nuts.  Some lug nuts that were just professionally ratcheted on a mere hour ago.  Yeah. You can imagine how that went.  We did actually get one loose before someone came by to help.  Some hulk-man that had more strength in his pinky finger than two, non-waifish chicks could muster even while STANDING  on a tire iron and jumping down on it with full body weight.

So some hours later I was home with four, inflated tires and not at all worried about my drive to Stafford the following day.  Stafford came and went without incident. But what did I wake up to this morning?  A lovely, new, slow, effing leak.   Beautiful.

My dirty tire changing hand.

My dirty tire changing hand.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bug permalink
    November 25, 2008 12:34 am

    Seriously? You get punished by the fates for trying to be safe? Bah.
    That simply sucks. Though I have to say that I am glad you changed them old tires.

  2. November 26, 2008 1:38 pm

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take them back!!!!! Take them back and scream and yell and tell them to give you something free!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how do you have another leak!!! AND………I can’t believe you have never changed your tires, you are blessed, even with everything you just went through that’s like just a few months of troubles, not even close to a years worth. 😉 Not that I think you need to make up for lost time and have tire trouble cause I don’t!!!

    love you!!!!!!! Happy Turkey Day tomorrow Drive Safe!!!!!!

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