Who Would You Call With Car Trouble At Midnight?
My wife and I are driving home Saturday night when my tire pressure warning light kicks on.
Now, because I live in Bettendorf, my pressure monitor has indicators for all four tires. I could immediately tell that it was the right rear tire that had less pressure. Normal for this time of year, especially with having just had 6 inches of snow. I figured that being parked in the snow for the last few hours had lowered the pressure in that tire by a few pounds.
And then a few pounds more, it started dropping pretty quickly. So much so that I thought maybe I busted a stem or something. It went from 36 lbs to 30, to 25, to 10 to zero in the course of 10 blocks. So I pulled into a parking lot and started the jack and spare procedure.
We have this Jeep Wrangler with factory everything, no lift kit, no aftermarket tires, and here I find this little scissor jack tucked into the tailgate of the Jeep. I notice the handle has an extender to about 30 inches, so I can hook it and spin it without crawling under the Jeep, which is nice since I'm wearing my best baseball jersey and jeans.
So I begin to execute the scissor jack maneuver and start lifting the axle. Well, the scissor mechanism will only lift to 16" from the ground at full extension. Which is just not quite tall enough to give me the clearance I need to put the new tire on. The old tire is flat and comes off pretty easily, but the new tire is, well, taller.
I think I need about another 2 inches out of this jack, but honestly it's almost completely straight up and down at this point, with about a 3" base. Even if I could squeeze any more height out of the thing, there is no way I can risk trying to put a new tire on, it's so unstable.
This is a Jeep, for goodness sake! I was very disappointed, and will write a sternly-worded letter to the company.
However, my problem at the moment was: jacked up Jeep, with no way to get the spare on. I needed 2 things. Someone who was awake and someone who had a floor jack handy. It's midnight.
I could call AAA or something, but waiting any longer was not really an option. I was prepared to do that when it occurred to me that a friend works as a cop on 3rd shift. So I shoot him a text, and ask if he's working.
Turns out he's not, he's sick, and so is his family. I tell him thanks anyway, and move on to my next play. But he calls me back, and asks why I texted him? I told him my predicament, and he said he'd be right there, against my protests. But he said, you're never gonna get a tow truck out right now with all the services taking cars out of ditches and he's probably the only guy I know with a floor jack that can lift this Jeep.
He shows up, 10 minutes later, wearing jammies and the kind of snow hat Charlie Brown wears, and unloads his floor jack for me and helps me change my tire. It's strange how things work. I can't think of anyone else who is on my list with those qualifications, and he was right there.
Keep a long list. I'm buying a better jack for this Jeep and will likely never have to use it again.
By the way, the leak? Some vape cartridge housing punctured the tire, and the hollow tube released the air as if it was the valve-stem. My only hope is that when I ran over the vape pen, it was still attached to the idiot using it.