September 26, 2009

There’s a first for everything. And while there are many things I might never experience, car trouble is apparently not one of them. Unfortunately, car problems stress me out more than most things. The stress really just makes the whole situation worse, so car trouble for me turns into car disaster. This may be because I never owned a car before last summer and that I know nothing about cars in general. But in the last year, I’ve had to get my car fixed from being in an accident, learned how to check my tire pressure and put air in them, and taken care of getting my oil changed as necessary. I still fully intend on learning how to change my oil myself at some point, but it can wait.

The other night, I had my first flat tire. It was completely my fault, which annoys me like crazy. But more than that, I had no idea what I was going to do. I have never changed a tire in my life. And if anything can trigger me to want to cry, it’s not knowing what to do. Sometimes I think the only reason I don’t cry all the time is because it would ruin my image (ps. this is totally the topic of a future blog post). So, back to my flat tire – I called just about everyone I know to see who could come help me.

I would have been happy with really anyone helping me. Given that I had difficulty just getting the jack out of the trunk, anybody would probably be better at this kind of thing than I am. But I was lucky enough to find a friend who’s actually changed a tire and has some experience with cars. Good thing. It took us forever to actually get the tire off. I have now come to the conclusion that I understand the steps to changing a tire, but I would never be able to complete the task by myself. Perhaps I’ve just had bad luck when watching people change tires, but I consider this a failure of my life.



  1. Getting a flat sucks. My dad says I am a nail magnet because I’ve had quite a few flats while he’s had maybe 4 in his driving lifetime.

    Don’t feel too bad at not being able to change the tire. It’s a physically hard task, first of all. Often (pretty much always) when you have the tires worked on in a service center, they use a power tool to put the nuts back on, so it’s hard to remove them. And, second, it’s also hard to remember all the steps if you haven’t done it a bunch of times. For example, you have to loosen the nuts before you raise the car unless you want it to come crashing off the jack. But if you loosen it too much, you can cause problems as well. My father used to make me rotate the tires and that’s why I know all that stuff by heart.

    • Also, the image of someone in despair and in tears from being overwhelmed at such an impediment is one of the saddest images.

      • I guess this bumps up your status from “heartless bastard”

      • I’m a sucker for crying girls.

    • My friend suggested I rotate my tires to get some practice. I feel like that would frustrate me more than necessary.

  2. […] weekend. There was a recall on something with the brake system, I needed routine maintenance, and the flat tire had to get replaced. It seems like pretty standard stuff. But I was still nervous that they would try to explain things […]

  3. Even though I’ve taken down/put on my car’s tires many times — the worst of which happened in a Chicago winter, on Christmas eve with blowing snow and freezing temperature, when I had to change a flat — I still keep my AAA membership, for some $50 a year, it’s like an insurance. For as a guy, I can’t cry ‘cuz of a flat, nor can I call too many friends for help. So spending $50 against looking helpless for a guy seems money well spent. I apologize in advance for such a sexist comment. 😉

    • In a chicago winter no one – man or woman – wants to have to take the time to change a flat. It’s at least 10 – 15 minutes and in that weather, it’s like an inverted hell.

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