Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Misadventures in Car Maintenance

I now have so many warning lights in my car that my dashboard is starting to look like the stock market prices scrolling at the bottom of the news screen.  Car maintenance is not my strong suit.  Never was this more evident than the time it took Ann and I one hour to fill my tires with air.

We were driving to dinner when I noticed the low air pressure warning light for two of the tires.  I figured we could just stop at the gas station real quick on the way and take care of it.  This assumption greatly under estimated my mechanical ineptitude.  Air cost 75 cents and Ann went in the store to get change for a dollar.

“Do you know how many PSI a tire is supposed to be?”  I asked Ann.  I made a half ass attempt to look through the owner’s manual and then decided that I had read before that it was supposed to be 32.  Acting like I had ever read the owner’s manual was a stretch.  I might well have said that I read in Modern Quantum Mechanics that Einstein was a real douche bag.  Seventy-five cents later I still hadn’t filled one tire.  I went back inside to get change for another dollar.

“Honey, are you sure you don’t have a hole?  It shouldn’t take this much to fill one tire.”  I assured the clerk that I just hadn’t filled the tires in a long time.  I probably should have taken this as a sign that I did not know what I was doing, but alas, I did not.  When we went through another 75 cents, I was too embarrassed to go inside again for more change and did what any reasonable adult would do and left to go to another gas station where they had never seen me before.

Gas stations #2’s air wasn’t working, so we went on to gas station number 3.  Ann, again, went inside for more change.

“Oh, this one costs a dollar.”  I look at Ann and she has a dumbfounded expression on her face.

“It’s not a problem.  You got change for a dollar.”
“I bought gum.”

Now we are frantically digging through our purses looking for another quarter like it’s the Holy Grail.  We finally find one and some how manage to fill the two problem tires.  We go to dinner very proud of ourselves that we had taken care of this problem all by ourselves.  (I know what you’re thinking and, yes, I realize this is a pretty dumb thing to be proud of).

Sometime on the way home, I finally come to the realization that 32 psi was probably something I pulled out of my ass as that sounded way to high and I am now greatly worried that my tires may explode at any time.  We get home and ask Ann’s husband to double check our work.  He opens the valve and it sounds like air being let out of party balloons.  I glance at the pressure gage and I think I see the number 35.

“How much air did you put in these?”

I guess being an adult is coming to terms with your strengths and weaknesses.  Car maintenance is a weakness.  As is driving.  My next car should have a paint color called I Will Beat The Shit Out of This Vehicle Black Brown Gray.  I cook a hell of a goulash though.


  1. I guess if car maintenance is not your strong point you have to ask help from car maintenance experts. I recommend you visit Brake O Rama in New Jersey as they are one of the best auto maintenance shops.

  2. From one former car maintenance dummy to another, I'd be proud of that accomplishment too. I used to not even know where my car manual is. Haha! All jokes aside, after one bad experience with a completely deflated tire in the middle of a busy highway, I've become more vigilant about car maintenance. I now run on a schedule for tire rotation, oil change and engine check. A well-maintained car makes for better driving, after all. Thanks for sharing, Sabine!

    -Rita McCall