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?