Thursday, October 08, 2015

I'm so handy....

Some years back, my dad gave me a little air compressor as a Christmas gift. This was something designed to plug into your car's cigarette lighter, and you could then pump up a low tire with it. (And a few times, I was a hero to the teen boys' youth group, because I could pump flat basketballs back up).

Then it broke. My current car has a low tire pressure light, which I kind of hate (even though I admit I forget to check the pressure monthly, like you should). It's gone on several times at inopportune times and I always worried, "Could I get home without a blowout?" (Yes. Those things seem to be kind of sensitive).

The past few times it's happened, I went to a tire place or my dealership and they took care of it. And they've never charged, but I kind of hate doing that. (Then again, usually the place is NOT busy when I go in, and maybe the guys welcome a chance to do something instead of sitting around).

But this time when it came on, I just couldn't get time to get in to the dealership. So I decided today maybe it was time to replace the compressor. I ran out to one of our several auto parts shop (seriously, for as small a town as we are, we have LOTS of these) and got one - plus a new pressure gauge. The one I had was one of those Slime battery-operated digital ones, and I never trusted it like I did the old-style kind where the air pressure pushes out a little labeled bar.

The compressor was about $45, the gauge $4 more. But I like the convenience of being able to fix stuff like that myself, when I need to, instead of finding a tire place that isn't busy.

And yeah, the tires were down a few psi each. I didn't fill them to the maximum pressure, but I did get within 2 psi or so. (I worry about the absolute max, what it might do if we had a sudden increase in temperature).

And then I got in the car, to put it away for the night. Turned it on, and the "low tire pressure" light turned itself off. Yes! I know it's silly to feel so proud of myself for something like this, but I always feel good about being capable at stuff. (I was the little kid in primary school who would flail her arms and go "I want to do it MYSELF!" when the teacher tried to help me).


CGHill said...

I still have my pencil gauge from the 1980s. During a tire rotation a couple of years ago, I got the wacky idea of asking the techs to check its accuracy. Within 1 psi of spot-on, even then.

I realize that filling one's tires with nitrogen has been badly oversold, but there's one thing it does well: not leak.

fillyjonk said...

My parents found that getting the nitrogen topped up in one of their cars' tires sufficiently a pain that they had their mechanic bleed the nitrogen out and replace it with air....