I was just looking at the pictures on my cell phone and decided to transfer these pictures from April and tell the story that goes along with them.
One Thursday we went up to the big city for M's music lessons. We got a rocky start as we were leaving the driveway and I noticed the turn signal sound sounded a bit odd. After a quick check it was discovered that the front left turn signal was not working.* I decided to drive the rest of the way since M still has his permit. When necessary, I rolled the window down and used hand signals, but we were able to get up to the city without further incident. We ran our grocery errands and then went and dropped M off at his piano lesson. As the rest of the children and I were leaving to visit the library, the ABS light came on.** According to the manual, that meant the brakes were still working, we just didn't have ABS capability. OK, I could deal with that as long as nothing else went wrong...
When we arrived back at M's piano lesson to pick him up, I got out of the van to go inside. Hisssssssssss. I walked around the van to verify that I was hearing what I was afraid I was hearing. (sigh) I did a closer inspection and saw a nail sticking out of the tread of the tire. I put my finger on the nail and the hissing stopped. I removed my finger and the hissing started again.
"Hey, boys! Would you like to change a tire?"
They've watched and helped change many more tires than I have. I got out the manual and read the instructions just to make sure they were doing it right.
This is where I'll say I'm thankful for my big boys who actually don't mind getting dirty.
By the time the boys got the tire lowered and released from the underside of the van, M's piano lesson was over and he and his teacher came outside to see what we were doing. Since we figured it would take us several more minutes (at least) to jack up the van, take off the damaged tire, and put on the spare, M's piano teacher graciously offered to drive him over to his violin lesson.
We got all the lug nuts loosened and the van jacked up by the time the piano teacher returned. None of us could budge the tire. Even the piano teacher gave it a tug before her next lesson. I walked across the street where two men were mowing the lawn for the university. They came over and tried to remove the tire. Then they insisted it was the wrong type of rim and it should have never been put on in the first place! Ugh.
I called the tire store chain where we purchased the tires. They said they would be happy to come over and remove the tire...for $80. Since we do have roadside assistance with our auto insurance (which we know to be very, very slow from experience), I didn't want to pay money for them to do it. The man suggested we hit the tire with a hammer to loosen it.
I finally got a call back from The Man. He said what the two men from the university had told me was ridiculous and just do what the tire store man said to do: Hit it!
So, I got the handle from the jack apparatus and started banging on the tire from under the van. Yes! I was finally able to pull the tire loose. Yay! The boys helped me lift the tire down and then they put on the spare. We made it over to pick up M just as his 1-hour violin lesson was ended. Whew.
The tire store fixed the tire for free, although we never put it on the van. It was late enough in the year that we went ahead and took off the studded snow tires and the regular tires went back on. M and J helped change those tires!
*Even though I bought a new bulb the same day, it took us a day or two to get around to trying to change it. Due to some creative auto repairs by the previous owner, it was determined that it was going to take a long, involved process to simply change that particular bulb. It spontaneously started working a few weeks later. Perhaps it was just a loose wire.
**Again, probably just a loose wire as it works fine most of the time now.