The Random Writings of Rachel: Car Trouble on Vacation

Car Trouble on Vacation


So this happened when we were in Oklahoma last week, en route to Michigan from our little trip to Texas.

Angel and I were wrapped up in some conversation when suddenly we heard a very loud rumbling sound. "What is that?!" I yelled, as Angel hit the brakes and stopped the car on the shoulder. "Did we just get a flat tire?" I asked when we'd stopped.

We got out of the car, and sure enough, the tire was shredded. It was very, very flat.

I stood in the grass, far away from the car and the highway, and took pictures while Angel dug into the car for the spare and jack, and very speedily changed the tire. He finished up just as a few raindrops started sprinkling down on us.


That's what the clouds looked like. No wonder I was a wee bit worried about getting wet.

About an hour down the road we found ourselves a small town and drove around till we found a tire shop (we had no GPS on this trip, so there was no handy-dandy device for searching the locations of nearby tire shops). They were able to repair the tire very quickly (by repair, I obviously mean replace...that's not really the kind of damage that can be fixed with a patch...), and we were back on the road--the whole adventure only added about 2 hours to our time on the road, and for that we were very grateful!
This was not our first flat tire, but it was our first actual blow-out, so it was a little scary at the time. Looking back now, Angel and I have had so many car adventures on long trips--from the slide-off that happened when we were on our way to Texas in December...to the transmission that died while we were in Chicago last year...to the flying brick that hit our front fender when we were driving on the highway in Minnesota a few years ago. We were grateful for our safety and for a comparatively small car drama this time, and it makes Angel all the more eager to no longer be a car owner in the near future.

It seems to me that vacations are a magnet for car trouble. Has this been true for anyone else? Even when I was a kid, our family vacations often involved car trouble of some sort. I remember sitting in a McDonald's awaiting a tow truck on a trip to Kansas...squeezing into a regular sized taxi with my mom, my 5 sisters, and the taxi driver in Malaysia when the motherboard quit on our family car...having a vacation to Florida canceled because the motorhome wasn't starting...ahhh...memories!

I want to know if this happens to everyone--I suspect it does. Because although I know that my family and I are adventure-prone...cars are cars, and I expect that they can be ornery everywhere. Tell me your worst car trouble story--bonus points if it happened while you were on vacation!

27 comments:

  1. Yikes, a flat tire eh? Thankfully it was only two hours! Even moments like these make fun memories :)

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  2. omg a flat tire is one of the fears because WHAT DO I DO THEN?? my dad taught me how to change a tire when i was a teen but i forgot everything about that -- i do know that you have to put the bolts back on in a "start" pattern but that's about it!). but seriously, i always wonder how tires can blow up like that.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  3. I would be soooo stuck if I ever experienced getting a flat tire because I have no idea how to change one at all. I'd be that girl who called the police for help only to have them direct me to a towing company lol.

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  4. oh no! That's horrible. One time my friends and I were on our way to a national park. On the way the car completly broke down and wouldn't start and.....we were in the middle of nowheresville. But these awful things always end up being great stories :) Also, that picture of you is really pretty :)

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  5. The funny thing is when I saw the title of this post I said to myself "it's not vacation if there isn't a blowout going down the road" hahaha. We actually had a pretty smooth vacation 2 weeks ago, no car trouble....just paid for overpriced diesel. lol

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  6. you know - i've never had a flat or heard of a friend getting them. i've seen it happen in books and on tv, but i kind of thought it was made up? is that silly? you, however, have made me a believer. but what to do now that i believe? learn how to fix it? oooh gosh, back to not believing ;) it's too bad it happened, but that picture of you stranded in the storm is *gorgeous* -- kind of makes it worth it, right? gorgeous picture and a good story?

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  7. Wow, you really do have all sorts of problems while on vacation. Maybe that's a sign that you should never drive for vacations anymore. ;-)

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  8. Oh no, car problems are awful anytime but especially on vacation. Could be worse though. I have had two much worse car incidents happen to me one of which was on vacation. And yes I feel like this happens to everyone. It has definitely happened to me, family members and many people I know. IDK why. Murphy's Law I guess. LOL

    P.S. You look adorable in that close-up photo.

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  9. Dang tire! We got a flat while in Texas before. That was pretty scary.

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  10. Well....at least one good thing came out of that flat tire....a stunning picture of you!!

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  11. That last major car trouble I can remember was when I was a kid. I think I was 6 or 7. My mom, brother and I were driving from Nampa, Idaho to somewhere in Oregon. I think. I remember driving down the highway, the tire blowing out, and then being completely freaked out. My mom had to talk me into getting out of the car and crossing the highway. She then had to get our car to the other side on the shoulder and then a nice retired cop pulled over and helped her change out tire. I just sat in the field next to the highway.

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  12. I've never had a flat tire PERIOD! With all the potholes around here though, I thought for sure I'd get one just driving to work! haha

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  13. Oh no! I'm glad you guys were able to get it fixed quickly, and get back on the road! I've actually never had car trouble at all...it's super weird, considering that I drive a 19-year-old truck, and until we upgraded a couple years ago, my husband's car was almost as old. Once, on a band trip, our bus broke down in a small town, and we had to wait over an hour for a replacement bus to find us. Does that count?

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  14. Oh, we recently had car troubles too, not very fun! It's good that you got to fix it quickly. And I couldn't help but giggle - at least you got a good selfie out of the situation, hehe! :)

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  15. I'm glad Angle was so handy and it was quickly dealt with.

    Having driven across Canada at least 4 times once during the middle of winter we've had our fair share of crap that goes down. Once our alternator stopped working and we had to choose between having the lights on or having the heat on. It was -20 C and we had to have the windows rolled down so we could see! Scary.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  16. Oh man, that had to be awful for a few moments. I'm glad Angel could and did take care of it quickly.

    Nothing like that has ever happened to me on vacation. I credit my husband who painstakingly goes over every inch of our car before we go, which is annoying and bothersome at the time, but worth it in the end. I guess I'm too excited/focused on what's ahead to pay attention, otherwise who knows what would happen! That's not to say Angel doesn't or that it's the reason we've been ok thus far, just one of those things I'd for sure neglect.

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  17. Apparently, Malcolm's family curse is car trouble on holidays. He only told me AFTER we were engaged ;)
    But he has a car story for just about every trip he's been on, which makes my few rather small in comparison! I think the worst I really had was that my windscreen-wipers stopped working on a particularly stormy day where I needed to travel. I stopped by Malcolm's parents en route and his dad fixed them, but a few minutes later when I was back on the road they stopped working again, and it was now after dark. Seriously the scariest time I've driven where I could sometimes see NOTHING on a busy highway.

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  18. I ALWAYS expect stuff like this to happen on trips! Gotta take the good with the bad, haha.

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  19. Happy to hear everything turned out okay in the end! One of my biggest fears is having a blow out on the highway. I've seen it happen to a few cars, and it just looks so scary.

    When I was younger + we road-tripped a lot, there was always car trouble. My favorite had to be when we were travelling to Amish Country in Pennsylvania. The car overheated + broke down, and there was nothing modern of hundreds of miles!

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  20. I can't say we have ever experienced car trouble (yet, knock on wood). I did forget to pack my shoes once when I was 7. My parents actually had to buy me some. My car sickness which sprung up when I was 15 has made for some family stories & family teasing. It sounds like y'all handle everything so calmly!

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  21. Yes, I've had more than one flat tire while driving kids on a school trip. And being the only adult in the car, had to figure out how to change it all by myself! Thanks for sharing your fun story on the Saturday Sharefest. Hope the next trip is better!

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  22. Oh man!! James and I are driving to North Carolina tomorrow morning and now I'm nervous ;) I've had a slew of flat tires and a couple accidents, but so far no issues while on vacation!

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  23. Oh man! Sorry Oklahoma did that to you. Not very nice.

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  24. Wow, that's not even a little flat...it's FLAT flat! I'm glad the whole ordeal went smoothly and that you got that gorgeous picture of yourself.

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  25. angel the mechanic! you've got a keeper.

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  26. I have a flat tire as I write this...the husband is waiting for me to get off the computer so we can go buy two new ones...ha! Fortunately mine happened in our driveway...two days after a road trip. :) Glad you guys are ok and got on your way.
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

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