Monday, April 20, 2009

The Adventures of Savvy Cargirl Continue!

It is rare that my ability when I have car trouble comes close to being savvy, but this weekend some my car know-how surfaced - in the form of a flat tire.

I immediately knew something was wrong with my tire, when I was heading to the train station on Saturday. With the warm weather, I had my windows down, so the strange 'clack' noise coming from my front, driver's side was very audible and not normal. A moment later, there was a pop and then nothing. Noticing that the road and pavement was even, I had a gut feeling that I had either run over or had just lost something that was wedged in my tire and there was now a giant, gaping hole in my tire.

I parked at the train station, preoccupied by catching the train to the city. Assuming that my little Jetta's brakes had not suddenly decided to act like air brakes, the hiss from my deflating tire was unmistakable. I strategically moved my car to a location that would be easily accessible for a tow truck and headed to the city.

In hindsight, I should've dealt with the tire right then. I could still drive on it (for a very short distance), and there was an Active Green & Ross and a Canadian Tire around the corner. Failing to do so, I was met with the flattest tire I have ever seen, when I returned from the city. Anticipating this, I had already placed a call to CAA, but I decided to try my luck at changing it anyway. Before I knew it, the spare tire was on and I was yacking to the CAA girl about how empowering it is to change your own flat!

"I know," she exclaimed! "Doesn't it feel amazing?! Good for you! " She asked. Does it ever! I definately stood a little taller, as I explained to the Active Green & Ross guy that I needed a bit of air and someone to look at my old tire.

One note about this - they were booked for the day and would not be able to fix my tire. He gratefully offered to check my spare, make sure the pressure and lug nuts (bolts that hold your tire on) were tight and safe. My spare is a real tire, as opposed to a donut, so I was safe to drive on it until I could get mine fixed. With my past, negative Canadian Tire battery experience fresh in my mind, I decided to wait until Active Green & Ross could fit me in, rather than go to Canadian Tire.

If I could make a recommendation for all women drivers out there, especially the single and fabulous ladies that spend multiple hours a week in your car - learn to change a tire! In fact, learn to check the oil, change your windshield washer fluid, learn all the basic maintenance tasks to keep your car running and on the road, especially if it is older and/or high in mileage. Also, consider CAA. It has saved me many headaches and paid for itself over and over again! They even have Car Advice for Women here.

Have you ever been incredibly empowered by a similar experience? Do you have any great recommendations for women driving?

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