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Blowout!

on June 20, 2013

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Yesterday afternoon, I left work early to go to my dentist.  I was driving along E. Rodriguez Avenue, I stopped at a pedestrian lane, and was slowly stepping on the gas pedal when I heard a sound like the popping of a balloon, followed by hissing.  I looked around me to find out what it was.  At the same time, several startled pedestrians looked in the direction of the sound.  I didn’t find the source of the sound so I drove on.  A minute later, I felt the pickup  wobble.  Suddenly, it was tilted to the left and started to slow down.  Then it dawned on me, “Omg, I have a flat tire! That pop and hissing sound actually came from MY pickup!”  Thankfully, a Caltex gas station was just a block away from where I was and I prayed fervently that we make it there.

I was not prepared for what I saw when I finally got out to check my flat tire.  My left rear tire was not flat, but blown out!  I was still in a state of shock when a middle-aged gas station attendant approached me and asked me what happened.  I guess I just stared at him and it was quite obvious what had happened so he just said, “Do you have a spare tire? How about tools?  I’ll change the tire for you.”  I pointed to the spare tire on the undercarriage of the pickup.  When I came to my senses, I found the tools behind the backseat and handed them to him.  He told me that the tire was already “manipis” (thin) and “malutong” (brittle). I recalled that 6 months ago, when I had the tires rotated that that was also what the guy at the shop told me.  He then went around the pickup, shook his head, and said that all of the tires were already worn out and advised me to buy a new set of tires.  I was also worried that the spare tire would be worn out or flat but it was in good condition.  He changed the tire swiftly.  I thanked him profusely and gave him 100 pesos.  “Thank you din Ma’am.  Ingat kayo (Take care)!”

When I got home, I googled about tire blowouts.  Here’s what I learned:

1.  Blowouts can be caused by anything that lets air escape like a crack or hole in the tire, overloading of the vehicle, and sudden impact.

2.  When a blowout happens, instead of stepping on the brake, continue to lightly step on the gas pedal to keep the momentum then slightly steer opposite the side of the flat tire to keep the vehicle straight.  You can then slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

3.  If you step on the brakes during a blowout, you may lose control of the vehicle.  It could spin or even flip over.

The most important lesson I learned from this experience?  Do not take your tires for granted.  Check the air pressure of tires frequently, if possible once to twice a week.  Check for holes or nails in the tires.  Have your tires rotated every 5,000-10,000 km.  Have the wheels checked for alignment.  Finally, ask an expert to assess your tires if they already need replacing.  Now I know.

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5 responses to “Blowout!

  1. oh no! that is a big torn. good thing you were safe. 🙂

  2. […] Blowout! (jen1solis.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Villanueva says:

    at least you’re safe and thanks God you’re not on the hi-way.

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