September 08, 2013
Some Luck Came My Way
I got a break on Friday in my luck. I got stopped before I lost a tire.
Seems the technician where I had the Jeep worked on forgot to torque either of the tires on the driver's side. Coming from work, about 40 miles from home I start feeling a front tire wobble. I thought my ball joint had decided to let go. Found a place to pull over and WS (who I had called) suggested I check the lug nuts. Sure enough, all the lug nuts on the front tire were extremely loose and several were on the last thread. I checked the other tires and the left rear had 3 loose lug nuts (not nearly so bad thought). The tires on the passenger side were fine.
That was me trying to get to my tire iron. Finally found it beneath the cargo section floor. tightened them up, got to a gas station (I wouldn't make it home) and re-tightened the lug nuts. WS met me further down the road where he really cranked them down.
Fortunately the rim seems no worse for the wear. Certainly didn't help the tires any, but at least I didn't lose a tire, or get killed, so that was a bit of luck that went my way.
It seems that your luck is at an inflection point, what with your bad luck being accompanied by a bit of good luck.
People so rarely have blow-outs, or even flat tires, that we may forget where our tools are. Mine, like yours and most others, are below decks - with the spare tire in the case of sedans. Minor difference between us, though. No way do I want nuts "gorilla tight". That means a lot of frustration for me - not being able to remove the nuts if I have to. However, that said, it's been at least 25 years since I've experienced any type of road trouble. In that case, the transmission stripped in the Buick Electra while your dad, your uncle, and I were returning from Bosque del Apache to Albuquerque. South of Isleta, I had to call a friend from work to ask that he fetch us. He had a teeny tiny car, so it was a cozy ride back to ABQ. I still exchange emails with Dr J on occasion although he has lived in several states since leaving BDM.
Posted by: Cop Car at Sep 8, 2013 9:22:56 AM
Glad you caught it. When I worked for AAA getting calls from people who's "tire just fell off!" was NOT uncommon. And only rarely were their cars without additional damage when it happened. That much weight, coming down at such an awkward angle, at speed, has the potential to do serious damage to a car!
Posted by: Ruth at Sep 9, 2013 8:53:06 AM
Glad it worked out OK! I had this happen to me once, with one tire, noticed when driving east on route 2 from Greenfield, when I lived out there. I don't recall what reason there might have been for lug nuts to be loose, but I don't think it was right after service. Which means it's a mystery, perhaps a sick joke or entropy at work.
Posted by: Jay at Sep 9, 2013 12:44:27 PM
CC - I thought I knew where the tools were, but the lug wrench was attached to the jack (a scissor jack) and it is a fold-up, jobby, so it seemed to be one of the struts for the jack. I have only used the regular tire irons (both 1 point and 4 point, so had no idea that the look could be so different.
Posted by: bogie at Sep 15, 2013 7:52:43 AM
Jay - this is the second time it has happened. The first time was back in the early 80's and I was driving home from having new tires put on. Ruined two of my rims - which the shop had to replace all 4 since they couldn't find the same style.
It would really worry me if I didn't know why the lugs were loose!
Posted by: bogie at Sep 15, 2013 7:58:34 AM
Ruth - saw someone on the road while on the Cape whose tire fell off. Looked like he had just gotten new brakes too.
Posted by: bogie at Sep 15, 2013 7:59:42 AM