Sunday, June 01, 2008

Frustrations of a Tire Changer

Thanks Dodge/Chrysler. May I just take this opportunity to say that your engineers really need to rethink how the spare is stored on your minivans? Because while this experience has been enlightening, and possibly humorous, fun it hasn't been!

So, the short story, I get a call from the beloved wife last night at 11:00 saying "I have a flat tire". Thank the good Lord that she heard something happen to the tire shortly before getting to the development we live in. So, she had come to a stop off the main road and only a 1/4 mile away from the house. I padded out to the car in my bare feet (not a wise decision as I was to find out) and zipped up the road. Of course, it was drizzling and it was dark and I couldn't see a damn thing. She had already driven a good mile or so since the noise (but the tire took a little while to go flat) so looking at it there in the 11th hour darkness - and not knowing where any of the requisite tools were to get the job done I just declared the tire hosed and I drove it the 1/4 mile through the development to the house.

This morning I go out to the van in full regalia - all prepped for crawling on the ground and handling nasty tire kinda stuff (come on - did you think I was going to get dirty? PHULEASE). I knew where the jack was. Figure out where that went pretty easily. Score one for the designers. But the spare, where the heck was that? So, I started looking around - and under. That's where I spotted it. The sucker is underneath the back of the van. So I crawl underneath looking for some bolt or something... nothing. There's some kind of plastic piece holding the tire on. I start thinking, lefty loosey? Is that it? So I try to move it. No easy task. And I'm still thinking - how the heck do they expect people to be able to do this? Well, really, they don't. I cranked around a few times by various methods (like hammer for instance). Nothing. Finally (hey, I never said I was quick, you know?) I resort to the manual and find out the tire is held up by an ingenious winch mechanism that releases from a nut inside the van. So, I find the nut, crank it around assiduously and BINGO! The cable loosens and drops to the ground. The tire on the other hand does not. Seems the piece holding it is locked - rusted - right to the anchor. That baby ain't goin' NOWHERE. Of course, I find this out after wasting a good 45 minutes of my time on a Sunday morning! Which of course is important because I was trying to get the spare on so we could all go to church. BEAUTIFUL.

So thanks Dodge. I appreciate the opportunity for forbearance, patience and all those other great attributes that only show up in trial. In this case; however, I would have preferred a tire change.


shout2g said...

Ah, yes! Engineering! Ingenuity! Preparedness! Frustration! Peace?
I am so thankful that you are light-hearted about it all. Perseverance is a trait I admire in a person. :-) Glad you made it to 'church'!

Trent said...

Praise God!

Kim said...

Thanks for such a great piece. Now I know exactly who to call if I'm ever driving a dodge. How longs that plane flight from Philly? ;-)

Deanna Desrosiers said...

This made me laugh.

Way to be, Phil.

sydneydoll said...


very funny