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Dealing with a flat tire in the heat and stuff.

Posted by fiddlepogo on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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A week ago Sunday, I gave a friend a ride because the buses weren't running.  He said, "You know, I think you've got a bubble in your tire!"

Well, Thursday I had done a senior gig, got paid cash, gone shopping for me, picked up some important stuff for the wife, and was crossing over the freeway bridge when I thought to myself:

"I wonder how long that tire is going to last?"

I kid you not.... AS SOON as I had thought that, I hear this WAP, WAP, WAP.  I hope it's someone else's car making the noise, but it stops when I stop at the light, and starts when I started on the green light.... so I pull over.  Sure enough... right rear tire is flat.  Barely enough room between the road and a steep embankment, but just enough.  I guess I was WARNED, wasn't I?  I'm glad it didn't fail when I was driving faster, earlier!

First time on this vehicle.... where's the jack???  Hmmm... AAA membership expired, and I haven't found the wherewithal to renew.  So I decided to attempt to change it myself.

Okay.... I found the jack compartment, use the lug wrench to lower the spacesaver spare, figure out the jacking points, then try to raise the jack and it's.... rusted so bad it won't raise!!!!

And no WD-40 in the car!!!!

I was just about to walk to K-Mart or an auto parts place to get some WD-40, when a Good Samaritan stops.

A Mexican mechanic, just off his shift at some repair place.

I mention the lack of WD-40.... he says don't worry, and gets out a pro-quality floor jack.

I finish breaking the nuts with the lug wrench (by standing on the horizontal wrench and bouncing a little)  then he takes over, and has the spare on in no time, I thank him heartily, and he's on his way.

I look at the flat, and it was toast... it had a screw in it (no wonder it had a slow leak) and the bubble had formed around that.  The following day, a friend donated $40 to the tire replacement fund. Yay!

Monday I went reconnoitering for "take off" tires, and I discovered that 14 inch wheels are getting to be rare birds, so the 14 inch tires for them are getting rarer, and the 21570R14 original equipment tire size is even rarer.

Most tire places don't have used ones... the pick and pull yard had one slightly smaller size (20570R14)in 14 inch, but it didn't have much tread left.

I found a place that specializes in used tires, and they had some of the slightly smaller size.  But I wanted to try one other place for the "right" size.  I also priced some new tires.... the ones I could afford were $80 to $90 per tire.

Yesterday I was so tired from driving around in the heat the previous day, that I couldn't make myself go out again on a hotter day.

In spite of tending to be overwhelmed by important tire decisions to be made on limited funds, this morning I got going earlier, called the other place.... no 14 inch tires AT ALL!  One other place, same thing.

Okay, back to the used tire place.   I was going to put ONE on.... but then they found another bubble of tread separation on one of the remaining three tires!  I kind of had a feeling that was going to happen.   I have noticed that when someone gives me a car, the tires on it might be a little OLD and brittle.  So I wasn't totally surprised.

So I NEEDED that extra $40 donation!

So I got two used tires put on for about $90, but with much softer, fresher rubber than the old ones.... I've got the new ones on the front.  Then I had to go shopping for groceries, and also got a D'Addario NS Micro violin tuner.

It was 109 or 111 degrees today, depending on which weather site you believed.  Even though I was careful to park in the shade nearly everywhere I shopped, by the time I got home I was pretty well FRIED.

I'm greatly relieved to have better rubber on the front of the van.... but those back tires can't last much longer.

I have noticed that summer heat is hazardous to rubber and other automotive things!!!!

And summer has just STARTED!  But this one worked out..... do you get the idea Someone is lookin' out for little old me???  I do!  A lot of stuff happened at just the right time, in the nick of time, just the right amount of space for the tire change, the right person to stop and help, the right amount of money, etc.  Coincidence??? Nah!

1 comment on “Dealing with a flat tire in the heat and stuff.”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Thursday, July 2, 2015 @10:59:36 AM

It actually got that hot up there a few miles north of me? Why at my stomping grounds here just south of you it has been 70 all the past week with a nice, cool breeze off the bay, birds singing and no tires going flat, fiddles always staying in tune,...and then I woke up. Yes. Been hot in ol' Northern California! Sorry to hear about the flat, but things certainly could've been worse for you, too. Glad to read things seem to have worked out.

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