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Advice: Flat Tire Fun (Not!)

Some good advice I got from my father once — Be familiar with your spare before you hit the road! (ok, I got it more than once — I get it every time I got a new vehicle.)

Imagine being at the side of the road on a busy Interstate highway with a flat tire…. …alone…. in the dark.

I found myself in this situation recently. I was alone and about 50 miles from home in the countryside on a dark interstate highway on a short 200 mile road trip. It was 7 pm in January so it was pitch dark and very cold. My tire went flat. I pulled off the road as far as I possibly could. Changing a tire by the side of the road is very dangerous and very scary. But I knew what to do. Do you? Read more Flat Tire help for some great advice so you don’t get stuck!

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1 NorthernOntarioCarLady { 02.27.08 at 3:25 pm }

I’m glad to hear you’re okay. Thanks for the link on what to do in such an emergency. I need to brush up my skills.

2 Writing Mommy { 02.28.08 at 12:49 am }

Ooooh…that is seriously scary. I’m just learning driving, and I think it’s high time I developed some skills in the tire-changing department! Thanks for the post.

3 Soultravelers3 { 02.28.08 at 9:28 am }

Scary…good tips! I love your site!! We are 19 months into a trip around the world as a family, so I am always looking for good travel sites and ideas!

4 Aimee { 05.02.08 at 11:21 pm }

I once had a flat at 1am (after work) in downtown Sarasota right next to a bank (ATM). There were a lot of businesses but everything had been closed for hours. There were a few men walking around the area panhandling- but that was it, so I drove a few blocks on the flat until I could see a more populated area (a couple of blocks from a night club).

A Police officer pulled me over and asked me if I knew I had a flat tire… I answered “naaa, I thought the other 3 just swelled up on me..” (gee thanks, Bill Engval)The officer at least had a sense of humor, if not chivalry. I told him I was heading for civilization because I was alone and didn’t feel safe.

I was forced to stop right there, a couple of blocks from relative safety. I can change a tire myself in just a few minutes, but the officer didn’t stick around that long. He left me there, 4 blocks from where the flat happened, in the middle of the night, in a deserted business district and I didn’t have a cell phone at the time.

2 different men approached me asking for money, one didn’t bother to offer to help, but made sure to case my car, the other helpfully broke off one of the wheel studs before I sent him off.

I carry AAA now.

5 Road Trip Mom { 05.04.08 at 8:03 pm }

Ugh, Aimee! Flat tires in the dark are not fun. I’m sorry you had such an awful experience. AAA probably wouldn’t have helped at the time if you didn’t have a cell phone. All the more reason to know how to change that tire yourself quickly and easily. A flashlight is a must. I now have two in my car. We don’t need knights in shining armor!