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Discoveries By Accident

I woke up today to discover that the front tire on my car was flat.

I took my tire off and started my grand search for the elusive nail or metal shard that punctured my tire and let the air leak out slowly.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t find the hole.  I recruited my son (whose eyes are much sharper than mine) to help with the task and after using the old soap trick, we still couldn’t find it.

What is the old soap trick?

This is where you  have the tire inflated and slowly pour soapy water over small sections of the tire while rolling it very, very slowly.  When the hole is detected, it cause more bubbles where the hole exists.  This technique has worked many times for elusive holes in the past.

Since I couldn’t find the hole, after I re-inflated the tire, I decided to put it back on.  After a short period of time, it started to look flat again.  At this point, I was clueless…  I didn’t have a cap on the tire, so I thought that perhaps that was the problem (knowing all to well that it wasn’t), so I took the cap off of the spare tire (really a donut) and started to put it on the stem of the tire.  That’s when it happened, as I was screwing on the cap, I heard that old familiar sound of air escaping.  It turns out that the tire stem had a defect in it that let air slowly stream out.

It seems that life if full of such accidental discoveries, some much more elusive and much more important than my little example.

So can Discoveries by Accident have a real impact on your life?  Since my discovery of the use of audiobooks while traveling, trips are much more enjoyable for me.

Do you have any discoveries that you would like to share?




5 Responses to Discoveries By Accident

    • I was surprised that it only cost $10 to replace the stem at Walmart! That’s better than I thought… and they even put the tire back on my car!

  1. I was thinking to myself that it’s the stem when I finished the first paragraph. I had that problem before too. I filled the tire with one of those air in a can and took it to Les Schwab (where I got them.) They fixed it for free. So now I know the stem is also a leak source.

    • I hadn’t heard of a stem problem before, but now I’m aware!

      I wonder how the stem has problems other than when it’s initially installed… Or maybe somehow it just degrades over time…