3 Lessons from Tires that Aren’t Flat and other Inconveniences
The trip was a little less than five hours, so my wife and I drove to the workshop I was recently scheduled to give. Everything went smoothly until we got a flat about three and a half hours from home. At least I thought it was a flat.
Traffic was light when I pulled over to investigate the thumping disturbance. But the tires were round and plump. “Maybe it was road noise,” I told my wife as I pulled off the berm. But the hubbub started again.
I drove and listened like a person with diagnostic skills. In my wisdom I said, “It sounds like a flat,” and pulled off for a second time. To my disappointment the tires were still round.
I was less confident when I closed the driver-side door. “I can’t figure it out.” My wife began offering suggestions. This is never a good thing to do to a man with shriveling virility.
I pulled out for a third time. When you don’t know what’s wrong, keep doing the same thing. That’s my motto.
To my complete befuddlement the thrashing hadn’t magically fixed itself. To make a long story short, we had the car towed to a garage.
We arrived in an Uber about 20 minutes behind the vehicle that I had decided to trade-in for a new model. Surprisingly, a mechanic drove up behind us in OUR vehicle.
The Uber driver removed our luggage from his magnificent – brand new – SUV as I approached the mechanic. He said, “You’re good to go.” Obviously he was incompetent!
Before I could complain, he said, “The lug nuts were loose.”
If you’re wondering, it costs $60 each to tighten five lug nuts.
- Big problems might not be big.
- Problems don’t magically fix themselves.
- Check for simple solutions before you trade-in your car.
What lessons do you see in the Lug Nut story?
Do you have a lug nut story?
I’ve been through similar and as I read the thought cloud in my mind filled with — ?? Lug Nuts ?? —
I’m grateful the situation yielded a lesson and not a disaster.
Thanks Ken. Inexperience can be expensive. Perhaps that’s why having a mentor, coach, or advisor is important. Cheers.
Thanks for all your contributions to my thought clouds.
Enjoy the weekend.
Lesson #4: Find someone else to look at the problem.
Wow… that’s brilliant. It’s so easy to get sucked into a situation and forget about inviting others to take a look. 🙂
Lesson #4a: You don’t have to be an expert in everything. Or as someone I once worked with says, if you are the smartest person in the room, it is time to find another room.
Charge it up to educational expense (investment?).
What lessons do you see in the Lug Nut story? All else fails seek others to repair as you did. WE don’t live in a perfect world always something it seems, sometimes minuet cab become hugh, better than the wheel falling off
Do you have a lug nut story? Driving down the road and suddenly your being passed by the the telephone pole your pulling behind, always check your hitch latch and chains. (Sharing for others). Wasn’t me “just hear say”. The crossed chains is a true story though the State police will tell you they must be crossed so as not to damage the commonwealth property should something happen such as hitch breaking.
Learn what you can do to diagnose and pinpoint–lose Lug Nuts.
Root cause analysis–what make Lug Nuts become lose?
–Did you recently have the tires rotated?
–Did you recently buy new tires?
I’m glad to hear the story had a safe ending for you and your wife.
I love how you see lessons in the ordinary to make life more accessible and meaningful!
I’m in the habit of using the phrase “we have ___ hours until the wheels mighy come off” to discuss impending disasters. As a background I do most of my car maintenance and am in the habit of tightening lug nuts repeatedly to “prevent the wheels from coming off”. As an engineer planning for what could go wrong, I spend a lot of ti.e timing thinking about “how the wheels could come off”. The funny thing is I have no personal experience with loose lugnuts – just an apparent obsession thinking about them.
While $300 seems punitive you averted disaster. That is certainly a cause for celebration.
Thought provoking, Dan. And Paul is right on about root cause. This happened two times to my wife while she was on the interstate a good way from home. Each time, the tires had been rotated. I’m grateful to God that, each time, she had good help close at hand. They do tell you to come back in 50-100 miles to have the lug nuts checked after a rotation. Even so, two loose lug nuts on one wheel points to carelessness. Lessons: 1) five minutes of preventive maintenance can keep a problem from developing, and 2) eliminate the root cause (we found a new tire shop).
I LOVE this one, Dan!!!
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