That Which Doesn’t Kill Us is Still a PITA!




August 30, 2006 at 2:02 pm

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Last night, shortly after leaving my parents’ house, my trusty steed (2006 Ford Escape Hybrid) beeped at me and a bright orange flat tire icon lit up on my dashboard. I dutifully pulled over at the elementary school nearby, under the bright parking lot lights, and kicked/checked all four tires — no visible issues and not visibly low. I pulled the owner’s manual and read about the

(TPMS) my vehicle has, and learned that the system triggers around 6 or so PSI below Ford’s recommended inflation for the ‘06 Ford Escape Hybrid (35 PSI). Since I run all four tires at 40 PSI, but hadn’t checked them in about a month (at which point they normally only drop 2 PSI), I knew at least one of my tires must have a leak, but I continued on home — carefully, and thanks to cool weather, with the windows down in case I heard anything odd from my tires.

I made a mental note to check my tire pressures in the morning, but I didn’t get that far. When I walked out into the garage this morning to bring our trashcans in, there’s a big fat flat tire staring me in the face. My right rear tire had dropped all the way to 3.5 PSI.


After far too much time and drama, I located the cause of the flat — a broad-headed nail lodged in the center of my tread. So much for limping my vehicle through the 14-mile trip to , where we purchased the vehicle and where I can actually trust the staff (as opposed to the dealership-that-must-not-be-named, who royally screwed us, repeatedly and gleefully.) I’ve never actually changed a tire, and given my seemingly endless bad karma lately when it comes to anything with wheels (that includes my bicycle, which I got 3 flats on in as many weeks just after we bought it!), I’ve enlisted the help of my dad to put on the damnable donut spare.

Let’s take stock, shall we?

Ah, hell, at least I’m getting terrific gas mileage and enjoying every moment on the road! That is, aside from the complete morons on the roadway, and the fact that I definitely am investing in a higher decibel horn because the stock one doesn’t even turn heads… not that a person oblivious to all rules and flow of traffic will notice a horn honking at them, of course, but still…)

For posterity’s sake, here are photos of the nail-in-tire experience. The tire’s inflated in the photos but is audibly losing air and dropping 5+ PSI every forty minutes or so, just sitting still.

And what I get to drive on tomorrow:




Archives from One Year Ago –,


August 30, 2006


Lately I have been getting some great mpgs ….. by taking the train

I wonder how polluting that is vs driving.

August 30, 2006


What type of train? We could compare the pollution (at least CO2 and other common ones) per mile travelled on our respective modes of transport with a little knowledge on the type of rail system in use. Forget the cost/benefit analysis if you sell your vehicles and do that full-time, though, because then you’ll have me totally beat.

We’ll be paying off this hybrid for awhile, while you and V could sleep on the train 24/7 and still not rack up that much cost in the way of fares.

And if the train breaks down, presumably another one will be along shortly to get you more-or-less to where you need to go and at no extra cost to you.

We looooved the Metro when we spent ten days in Washington, D.C. last October.

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