Today, July 6, 2017, at about 530 pm, after my daily walking exercise, I noticed one the tires of the car of my daughter seemed to lack air but not completely deflated and flattened. I was deciding whether to bring the car to the vulcanizing shop before the tire becomes completely flatten. I decided to observe further as I was not sure yet. After I walked the dog which took me about 15 minutes, I saw the deflation of the tire was progressing. Using portable air pump (usually used for bicycle and basketball), I tried pumping some air manually into the deflated tire hoping that I could inflate even a little bit to enable me to bring the car to a nearby vulcanizing shop without me having to change the tire. However, I was not successful as there might be continuing air leak in the tire. I decided the tire should be changed already.
I was looking around for external help such as drivers of other cars in the neighborhood. Unable to find someone to help me, I decided to change the flat tire myself, which I have not done for a long time. I honestly dislike changing flat tire as it is difficult and dirty.
I had difficulty loosening the lug nuts of the flat tire using the usual L-shaped lug wrench. I had to use a spider wrench and an additional long metal bar to be able to apply more force in loosening the lug nuts. Then, I jacked up the car. Then removed the flat tire. Then, I got the reserved tire and finally changed the flat tire.
At one point, I was sitting on the ground already while I put in the reserved tire and released the jack. I was tired. It was really difficult and tiring for me to change tires nowadays. At any rate, I made it. I told myself (kaya ko pa pala, I can still do it afterall).
After putting the spare tire, I noticed the spare tire lacked air to the point that it looked like I had another flat tire to handle. I pumped in some air but was not successful as I noticed there was an air leak in the “pito” or valve stem.
It was already past 7 pm and was already dark. I was tired already. I initially thought of just parking the car properly along the side of the road and leave the flat tire alone and just fix it in the morning. However, thinking that my daughter will use the car early morning the next day, I decided to take the chance (with still some air in the spare tire) and bring the car to the nearby vulcanizing shop (about 1 km away). Bahala na or come what may. Fortunately, I was able to reach the vulcanizing shop without destroying my spare tire.
In the vulcanizing shop, it was discovered that first tire had a long nail that penetrated it causing the flat tire. The spare tire had a destroyed or leaking valve stem. These were both fixed at the total cost of P400.00.
At 815 pm, I was back home physically tired and dirty.
Some lessons learned:
- I should always have a spider wrench and a long metal bar to facilitate lug nuts loosening.
- I will try using hydraulic jack rather than mechanical jack as the latter consumes a lot of energy.
- I and I will tell my daughter also to always have the spare tire checked regularly for functional substitution.
- I will continue to have an air pump always available in the car. It still useful as a temporary measure to pump air into the tire to enable the car to reach the vulcanizing shop (let the boys in the vulcanizing shop do the difficult and dirty work of removing and fixing flat tires.
- I will wear rubber gloves when I change flat tires to prevent my hands from getting soiled with dirt and grease.