Recently, my wife and I celebrated our 23 year anniversary. It’s been a while since we just took a trip by ourselves (read without kids), so we decided to drive over to San Antonio for an extended weekend. We’ve been there a dozen times, so this trip wasn’t about site seeing. We wanted to relax at a nice hotel, eat, sleep and just hang out together.
We left Houston in time to get to the hotel right at the time we should check in to our room. However, right outside of San Antonio, my tire pressure gauge went off. A beep came from the dashboard as I saw my right rear tire pressure slowly losing pressure. I was on the freeway looking for a good exit so that I could get out and check the tire. However, the exits I passed didn’t look promising. As another minute passed, I realized that I was going to need to get off. I exited the freeway and stopped at a little convenience store.
As I pulled in, I realized it wasn’t the best of spots. The place looked very run down. However, I wanted to check the tire and see what needed to be done.
When I got out of the truck, I could hear the air escaping from the tire. Actually, it was so loud that I thought it was something else at the store. A quick inspection revealed that I had a puncture. The hole was huge!
I had a couple of dilemmas. One not so bad, but the other, not so good either.
I like to think that I am pretty good at situational awareness. I keep an eye out and let others know that I’m watching. As I inspected my tire and looked around the convenience store, I wasn’t happy at my surroundings. To add to the stress, my wife wasn’t happy either. She didn’t have a good feeling.
I also didn’t really want to get all sweaty and dirty. I sweat like a pig just being outside for a while, so I knew that if I dropped the spare and started changing the tire, that I was going to reek as we kicked off our extended weekend.
A while back, I made a kit for all of our vehicles. Two of the items that I included were tire plugs and fix-a-flat. I’ve never used tire plugs before, although I have seen it done and it doesn’t look that hard. But then I would have had to inflate the tire again. However, I didn’t think that fix-a-flat would really seal up the huge hole in my tire.
Due to my surroundings, I decided to try fix-a-flat first to see if that would get me on the road and a little further away from where we were. And to my amazement, the fix-a-flat plugged the huge hole!
I was able to get down the road a ways and find a Discount Tire where I replaced all 4 of my tires!
1. Make sure you have a good tires on your vehicle. I know, this is a no brainer and where I say I failed! Yes, leave your negative comments and all that…I’m a big boy.
As a school administrator, I wait for our days off to get things done like home repair and routine vehicle maintenance, if I can help it. We are just very busy with family life, work, sports, Prepper Website, etc… I was waiting for the Thanksgiving holiday to put on some new tires. I realized I waited too long and this is where I failed!
2. Having preps in your vehicle can be a lifesaver! Many of us have EDC items with us on a regular basis. You might even have a bag that is specific to your car, especially those of you who live up North. But I’m not talking about survival supplies, I’m talking about mechanical and supplies specific to your vehicle.
Because I have a back seat, I have space that allows me to carry a kit that is specific to small repairs and basic necessities for the vehicle. I’ll post later on the kits I made up for our vehicles. But I was glad to have fix-a-flat. In my opinion, it was well worth it and I will purchase another can to replace the one I used as soon as I can.
3. Always maintain situational awareness, instead of panicking. I knew that I didn’t want to hang out in the parking lot of this convenience store any longer than I needed to. My wife swears that she saw a drug deal go down in front of her. I don’t know if that is true or not. And even though she took a few seconds to take a pic of me, not smiling, putting fix-a-flat into the tire, she kept a good lookout.
4. You have to make the decision that you want to live with. Many people would suggest that I should have kept driving, even if it was on my rim, to a place where I felt comfortable enough to get out and put on the spare. Ultimately, you have to make the best decision for yourself. Of course, hindsight is always 20-20. But I think I made a good decision in deciding to use the fix-a-flat and get out of there as soon as possible. My rim wasn’t messed up, I didn’t get dirty and we were able to get where we needed to safely.
In closing, a little bit of preparedness goes a long way. The best thing would be that you never have to use your preps. But if you need them, I rather have them than not. If you are a husband or father, you should have a little kit, especially some fix-a-flat in every vehicle. Get some today.
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