I finally got the flat tire and the slow-leak tire off my car today, brought them in and had them replaced, and got the new ones on the car.  I also charged the battery with the trickle-charger and reinstalled.  But none of it was easy.  Go figure.

Getting the tires off was the hardest part.  Both were flat, and I had parked the car in the driveway, so the ground was…  Uneven.  To say the least.

I got out the jack, and it just barely squeezed under the car – but it wouldn’t lift.  I tried moving the gravel of the driveway, but it’s packed and wouldn’t move.  So, I got a second jack, and it just fit as well, but it wouldn’t lift either.  I grabbed the third and the fourth, but both were bigger and would not fit under the car.

So, I started fiddling with them, tightening the release valves, checking the arms and connection pins and pistons, and three of the four seemed okay, but would not lift, under any circumstance.  The fourth would, after a much-needed good cleaning and lubrication.

But, that fourth jack couldn’t fit under the car.

So, I got turned on the air compressor and pumped up the slow-leak tire, and could ALMOST get the jack under…  Maybe if I could jack up the other side of the car a few inches…?  Don’t I have one of those flunky little emergency jacks in the trunk?

I got out the flunky jack and just got it under Mr. Slow-leak, and had to turn the screw some billion-and-a-half times to get the tire just barely off the ground, and the other side was high enough to get the real jack under.

Two hours later, I got the tires off.  I was swearing so much that I ran out of profanity in English, and worked halfway through the most popular, en français.

The tire place, recommended by a friend, also handles recycling, but is half-way to Minneapolis – so I loaded the tires into the back of his station wagon, along with as many bags of cans as I could fit.  Turned out to be not so many bags of cans, less than a quarter of all the cans I have.  Oh, well.

Unfortunately, since it had taken me so long to get the tires off, rush-hour was starting.  Well, it was the first 70°F day in Minnesota this year, and a Friday to boot.  So, a drive that would normally be twenty minutes doubled behind stop-and-go traffic.  And the place was busy and the few signs that were posted with directions were vague and unclear.

After wandering the place from end to end and back again, and talking to half of the employees there, I got the cans weighed in – $16.  Then, I was told I needed to move my car to the other side of the place by my friend, moved it, found the guy to get the tires from, told to move my car back, and wheeled the tires in.

But the guy I talked to was gone…  After crossing the whole place two or three times on foot, finally found the guy.  Picked the tires, excellent quality with almost no wear – $98.  Watched them do their work, glad I didn’t elect to take the tires home and try to put them on the rims myself.  I know the three or four German swear-words would not have covered the situation.

Traffic was no better on the way back, in fact it was worse, so I ended snaking through side streets.

The sun was just angling low in the sky by the time I got everything put back on the car, started it, and moved it into a much more acceptable parking place.

So – one major job done, now I just need to organize the cans and get the rest of them to a (closer) recycling center.  But that can wait until tomorrow.

For now, time to make some dinner.  And more Fringe, I think.  With some planning for next week.