Jul
16
2011

  Two Flats in Two Days

Good grief, we've had the worst year for flat tires. Last night T took the Jeep into Crozet to go out to dinner with W. He went with W since I had to feed M and was too tired to go out anyway. But as it turned out, I had to pack a screaming baby into the car anyway because an hour later T called me from the parking lot because he got a flat tire, and the jack and equipment to fix it wasn't in the Jeep. Apparently the previous owner installed a subwoofer in the space where the jack was supposed to be stowed and didn't have enough room to put all the parts back, so T couldn't put on the spare.

After T came home and put W to bed, I made him go back out with the pickup truck and his hydraulic jack to change the tire in the dark. It was actually twilight so he had a little light, but I pointed out to him that he had parked in a lit parking lot so he'd still have light after sundown. I would not let him come up with excuses to delay this task since it was important to me that if I was left home alone with both boys indefinitely that it would be much better at a time when both boys were asleep. So T took care of the tire change last night.

This afternoon, when T wanted to take W to go out with his friend S, I piled everyone back up in the car and drove out to the parking lot in Crozet. There, M and I switched to the Jeep and drove home, leaving T and W in the Lexus. The car gets such better gas mileage than the Jeep that our rule is that whoever is taking the longer trip takes the Lexus, and T was going to travel clear out to the next county.

Tonight, just after 5pm, I get a call from T telling me that he got a flat tire, and will be late. We had planned for the sitter to come at 6pm, but he's not going to make that. This is an unrelated flat (we aren't sure where exactly we're getting all these nails in our tired, but we suspect Jones Mill Rd, so have been taking the long way into Crozet since the last flat we got a week and half ago), since he got it on the highway. After he hung up, I was curious how he was going to be able to change the flat when he already had the spare on the car, but after a few minutes I remembered he had the Lexus. And we just fixed a tire on that car a week and a half ago.

I cannot even keep track of how many new tires we've gone through this year. Five, six? Sometimes they've been able to patch the tires at the shop, including patches we've probably had over ten incidents in the past seven months. This is becoming a serious inconvenience for us. First T's going to check our whole driveway. He did find some loose screws and nails in the driveway right outside the garage when he used a borrowed metal detector. But he said none were of the same dimensions of ones that have been pulled out of our tires. Nevertheless, we must suspect our own driveway and cul-de-sac, otherwise our neighbors would be getting as many flats, don't you think?

But we also suspect the all-gravel portion of Jones Mill Road. One of the reasons one of our neighbors is NOT getting flats is that he said he NEVER drives his luxury car down that road anymore, he always goes the other way. He will only drive his heavy-duty pickup truck or SUV over the gravel road. He went through a phase where he was getting a lot of flat tires, and that was his solution, and it seems to be working for him. So we've adopted the same solution. Although after getting the flat in our massive SUV last night, we are now just avoiding that section of the road altogether. It takes 20% longer to drive around the long way into Crozet, but it's better than dealing with all the flat tires.

Although as T has discovered, even that precaution is not enough. Since he even got a flat on the highway. This whole situation is making me want a helicopter.