Lessons learned from the flat tire I just had to change

Driving back from a wedding in New Jersey late on a cold, wet, windy night, we hit a pothole on the New Jersey Turnpike. Luckily I had my cousin Ali with me in the car and with more than one person, the experience was much easier. But still, a flat tire on a night like this is a good wake up call for disaster preparedness.

Here are my takeaways:

  • make sure you have all tire-changing tools and they are in proper condition. So Jack, jack-raising squiggly rod, crowbar, and wheel locks all working correctly, not out of shape. I good way to make sure you have all this is to use these items when doing your own maintenance. In this car I had done my own brake fluid change last year so I knew I did.
  • Also your spare tire of course with enough air. Mine had only 30psi air in there because I never checked the tire pressure in the 3 years I’ve owned this car (it was bought new) until tonight when I got the flat tire.
  • an air pressure gauge-After the tire change was done we stopped at the next rest area to check the tire pressure because I didn’t have a gauge and saw that it was only halfway full of air
  • a strong sheet to lay on the ground next to the tire– luckily I have this oil-stained heavy sheet in my trunk at all times. It was handy for us to put out knees on
  • a warm change of clothes– I was in a suit but had a change of clothes in case I stayed the night here in NJ. Also had a north face jacket too instead of my not-as-warm dressy coat I had. The change of clothes should be older clothes you don’t care about
  • warm and/or mechanic gloves– I have mechanic gloves at home. Not sure how good they would have been for the 20 degree weather we did the change in. Or if warmer mechanic gloves exist
  • trunk space with moveable/arrangeable items– just be conscious when you’re looking at your trunk before a trip or even car ride with what you would do with the items in the trunk in the event of a flat tire. Particularly for accessing the spare tire and putting the larger now-flat tire back in.

One more item I have to deal with now is what road hazard protection we have for our cars from either out insurance company or any other provider. I know we don’t have AAA. But i think with Lexus you get something for a certain amount of miles.

This is more so for my wife who has to drive a lot to Jersey for her work.

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