Not quite the car mechanic…
A road trip cannot be a road trip without the occasional car problem. I had various so far, but this was the first one actually on the road.
On the way from Michigan to Chicago, driving down the I-94, under an almost snowy weather, we suddenly heard a very loud and disturbing noise coming from the rear left side of the car. We quickly pulled over, put on our huge jackets (the weather can’t be handled with just a t-shirt and flip-flops anymore) and got out to face the damage.
The rear, left tire was not just flat. It had practically exploded.
Anyway, no biggie I thought. I got a spare, so we’ll change it and we’ll be on our way. I went round the back, brought out the jack and the rest of the tools, and…. well… I didn’t get much further from there to be honest.
To start with, I was fiddling with the jack and a long metal rod for about ten minutes, trying to figure out how to make them work together and get the damn car to rise. You should have seen my face. I was probably like a 6-month old kid, trying to fit the triangle in the circle. Trying from every possible angle and with all likely combinations, but I just couldn’t get it to work.
I decided to leave that aside and try to get the spare wheel from under the van. Little did I know that I was in for yet another failure. How the hell do you get that wheel from under there? I knew that the long metal rod was the one to be used, but where the hell was I supposed to stick it? (Careful with the answers on this one…….) I was looking everywhere, under the van, on the side, behind the bumper, under the mattress. I ended up unscrewing something that I was not supposed to.
So there we are, both me and H., looking at each other baffled and feeling incompetent. She threw the idea of calling the AAA, but I felt too embarrassed to call road-side service just for a flat tire! (It wasn’t just flat by the way, the whole damn thing exploded, but still. The procedure was the same…) Anyway, my initial reaction of not wanting to call the AAA was just me being in denied that I was useless and that I did need help to change the tire.
So we did call them and half an hour later they arrived. Changed the tire in a matter of 10 minutes and that was that.
At least we were not completely stupid. The jack was missing a tool, which is why we couldn’t get it to work and to get the spare tyre off, I needed to remove a bit of rubber from behind the bumper, which I did not even notice it was possible. So with my competence not fully ridiculed and a good tyre in place, we continued our journey towards Chicago.