Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A blustery day

Yesterday and today were windy days here on the Colorado prairie.  When the wind comes in gusts along the front range, it is a force to be reckoned with.  A news report tonight showed a semi-truck that had been caught in its wrath and was blown on its side.  Some of the gales today were comparable to Hurricane Category Three.  Of course, we don't really have hurricanes here.  Just miles and miles of open prairie where the wind tends to pick up speed and race faster and faster, blowing down trees and houses and anything in its path.

It was in the middle of this frenzy that I was driving along the interstate this morning and noticed a warning light on the dashboard of our new car.  I didn't recognize the icon.  It was a funny looking cup-kinda-thing with a squiqqly bottom and a big ! in the middle.  I didn't know what it meant, but that exclamation point had such a sense of urgency to it, that I pulled off at the next exit, got out the manual and found the source of the problem.  According to the telephone directory-sized manual, the warning light indicated a need to "adjust the tire inflation pressure." In other words, a tire needed air.

It would have been nice if it indicated which tire.  As it was, I pulled over to the air machine which required 75 cents in change that I didn't have.  Fighting the aforementioned Hurricane Category Three winds, I headed across the parking lot to the service station, changed a dollar for quarters, and headed back to the vehicle.  Armed with change and a tire gauge, I circled the vehicle, unscrewing each little cap on each little valve of each of the four tires and tested the air pressure.  Of course, this first involved getting out my reading glasses and squatting down to see the PSI number that was on the side of the tire.  You'd think it would've have been in the manual, but nooooo, the manual said, "as indicated on the side of the tire." 

Every single tire was plump and full at 35 psi.  Since I had the change on me, I squirted a bit of air into the last one, hoping to fool the warning light on the dash into disappearing.  No such luck. 

I remembered that somewhere down the interstate there is a Toyota dealership, so I entered it into the GPS, which instructed me to get back on the interstate.  A half mile later, conveniently located on the frontage road, I passed the dealership with no way to exit for another five miles.  This is a family friendly blog, so I won't repeat here what I called the female voice on the GPS.

Long story short, the very kind service agent at the service garage took my vehicle right in, checked all the tires and diagnosed the problem.  Apparently, the warning light not only tells me when the four tires on the vehicle are low, but it is also kind enough to inform me when the spare tire is low!  Unfortunately, it is not smart enough -- or couldn't give a rat's behind -- to tell me which tire is lacking air! 

With all five tires fully inflated, I proceeded on my journey, when it dawned on me. . . I have no idea where the spare tire on my vehicle is even located.  I'm sure I'll be able to find it when I need it.  Really, how many places could it be?  

9 comments:

Frog Hollow Farm Girl said...

Good morning, this post impressed me on so many levels! I still don't know how to put air in my bike tires - now isn't that pathetic! Our new Volvo GPS is still something I'm in training for - it's not as user friendly as our portable .Garman I can't imagine how it is living on a prairie - it must be such a totally different experience than living in the green hills of northwest New Jersey. FHFB would love being there with hurricane force winds. Take care! Ciao, bella!

Claudia said...

What a bizarre experience! All of this in gale-force winds, too!

xo
Claudia

Rizzi said...

GOOD MORNING WINNIE THE POOH, ON YOUR BLUSTERY DAY. :)
I FEEL SO BAD FOR YOU, YOU COULDN'T EVEN WHIP A U TURN IF YOU WANTED, AS LOLLY WOULD SAY. GET AIR IN THAT TIRE (NOW)!!
WHAT'S WORSE THEN BEING STRANDED WITH A FLAT AND NO SPARE.
WELL, YOU HAVE A NICE DAY, AND PUT HONEY IN YOUR TEA, AND HAVE A FEW GINGER SNAPS.
LOVE YA, AUNT RIZ

Susanne said...

Don't ya love technology? Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to view it, my cars are all too old to tell me whether my tires need air. I leave it to hubby to figure it out.

I get your windy blustery days totally. Being a prairie city ourself, we know those winds.

Bee Jay said...

Had to laugh at your blog Karen although I'm sure it was no laughing matter while it was happening. It's the sort of thing I envisage would probably happen to me someday. Glad you got it sorted in the end - even though it put a lot of time on your journey.
Blessings!

Country Dreaming said...

Isn't technology great!
At least you were able to get some assisitance with the issue.
Life is grand sometimes!

Melinda

BClark said...

Oh my gosh, you were just what I needed this morning!! Ain't technology wonderful. So glad I found you, for some reason you disappeared off my blogs I follow.

Have a wonderful day and thank you for the laugh.

Barbara

Sherri said...

We've had some blustery days here in Charlotte lately too!

Bill said...

This gave me a grin at the end of a very trying week at work.

Cars sure are smart these days, so if they can do all that, why can't they just fill up the offending tire while we're getting a good night's rest?