Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dealing With A Flat Tire

This buddy who I went to Food Bank with last year wanted to get a little more food so I went to his place to go together as he said he needed help. I arrived at his door at 09:30 AM and as soon as I knocked he showed up at the door dressed and ready. We walked toward his old car and there it was: A flat tire. Normally it should not be an issue having a problem as simple as that but it's a challenge for this buddy of mine. His immediate reaction was: Call and cancel the appointment! I asked him to wait a minute. We shall be able to fix this. I got the jack out and put it under the vehicle to boost it. Luckily it was a warm day, probably around 2ยบ C, otherwise we would not have been able to work outside without warm cloths and gloves even for 5 minutes! Despite the warm winter weather, there was a thick layer of ice on the street, probably as thick of an inch. He tried to crank up the jack but because of the ice, it was not secure and the side of the road that he had parked was higher than where the jack was put. It made it difficult for him to crank. He was sweating like a pig and that's because he has become fat in the recent years and does not have enough activity. So all those food have made a big lump in front of him. He cranked it up a little bit but because it was an old jack and there was ice beneath, the jack gave up and the car landed on the wheels! 
I told him that we should have probably stop and ask for help from one of these tow companies. They come and lift the vehicle easily and boom; Put the new wheel in, screwed back in and done. But he said that he wanted to give it another try. 
He lifted the vehicle high enough in order to take the wheel out but when it came the time to put the new wheel back in, it was not working. I guess it was because of the car being old, a 1996 Honda Civic! I asked him to be careful but this time again the jack gave up and the car landed on the street! There was no way to get it fixed and I had to call the tow truck guys. The first one responded and said the would be there within an hour but then called shortly after and said he had a flat tire. I though he found the place too far to drive and considered not worth doing it! 
The second one was a stupid East Indian with a ridiculous accent that I hardly understood him! He wanted me to call someone else and read me a telephone number. I pretended that i was writing it down and hung up! I finally called City Wide Tow and the guy came in about 45 min. I guess and changed both front tires as that was what my buddy wanted. It cost him around $150! I don't believe anyone buys that car for more than $500 now but it moves him around and he keeps it!
Anyways we wasted more than 3 hours and finally the vehicle was drivable again. We left for the goal shortly after that. 
(Photo: The car is sitting in a pool of slush with no front wheel at the passenger side. The spare tire is seen and also the jack which is left at the spot it gave up and caused the car to land on the street. I used a shovel to remove ice and snow and make room for ourselves and make us able to move around and work)

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