TFW your lugs drive off without you.
"When I was 17, I got my first flat tire. I live in the country and take backroads so when you pull off to the side of the road, there is almost always a downward slope into a ditch. So I pull over and am plugging along taking the tire off, feeling real confident. I get the lug bolts off and need a place to sit them while I switch the tires. So I put them on my bumper. The thing is the car's at a slant because of the ditch. So the bolts roll off into the ditch! And since the ditches are not mowed very often, the bolts got lost in the tall grass and weeds, never to be seen again!"
A cat-astrophic flat tire.
"A week before Christmas, I was driving home with my sister and a few friends. Around 11 p.m., we were in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. Our tire suddenly blew, so we pulled off at an exit where a garage was supposed to be. It was closed, so my sister pulled out her (super-old) spare, and while everyone else figured out how to change it (not very mechanical people here), I held my sister's very angry cat in the hopes that he wouldn't run away whenever someone opened a door. I did nothing to help change the tire, and I got an adorable picture out of it."
The perils of DIY.
"As a young man, I fancied myself a bit of a car mechanic and decided I was gonna do my own brakes. So after a bit of research, I jacked up my '92 Subaru Legacy that I bought from my grandmother in a sweet little deal for both parties and went to work. I replaced the rotors and pads in no time at all and slapped her back together and, whoooooo, boy, was I pleased. I even called my pops out to admire my handy work, and he was mighty impressed. My first trip out after this handy work was to be a four-hour trip so I packed up and headed out. I didn't get five minutes down the road when all of a sudden she seized up. I got her to the side of the road, jacked her back up only to see...I had put the calipers on backwards! What a rookie mistake. Luckily, no big damage was done. So I called my mom and she popped down and towed me home with our trusty pickup."
At least we know the tire works.
"I was driving in a bad thunderstorm. I pulled over and waited out the storm and then thought, with no expertise in changing tires and a dead phone, to change my tire myself. Luckily, I had the drilly thing (still don’t even know what it's called) and lots of patience. I got the tire off and went to go get the spare, which I did not know how to get on, and the tire that I had left upright rolled down into the woods. So I wasn’t going to leave without my tire because of the new rim, plus I couldn’t figure out how to put the new one on, and, by the grace of God, my husband's friend so happened to be driving down the highway when he saw my car on the side of the road and me crying."
That's snow good.
"When I was a teenager, my little two-seater car broke down in the middle of the D.C. beltway on a snow day when everyone was rushing home. First, a cop came to station his car behind me. I thought it was to get me out, but he made me sit in my own car while we waited for the tow truck. I sat in that car for four hours while DC traffic crept by me and people nosily peeked in, assuming I was a criminal with a police chaperone. (I was 17 and reading the only thing I had on me, a very boring book from school that I can't even remember.)
"Finally, an EMT truck came. Again, I thought I was getting saved, but he only pushed my car onto the side of the road with his vehicle and handed me a pack of flares to use because it was getting dark. It was another two hours later before a tow truck came and ended my misery.
"When my parents called me in the middle of all this, it was to laugh and tell me that footage of my car was on the evening news and I had caused a slow down all the way to Virginia."
"Every single gas station makes it pretty clear which nozzle is for gas and which is for diesel, except for the one by my parents' place. It's very old and the labels are all rubbed off. I had a fifty-fifty shot of getting the correct fuel into my SUV and I chose...poorly. Drove out of the gas station, and the car started freaking out and eventually cut off right in the middle of the busiest street in town. When a cop came to rescue me, I told him what happened and he laughed and even called his cop friends to tell them how dumb I am."
"My car broke down the day my husband proposed to me. This would have been…not awesome in and of itself, but there is WAY more to the story.
"It was Thanksgiving morning, and we were on a hike nearby my parents' house, where we would be having Thanksgiving dinner that afternoon. The sun was shining, and we were doing one of our favorite activities together, so it was the perfect proposal setup, except for one thing: The ring was way too small. Because I NEEDED to get that quintessential 'I’m engaged!' ring photo, I jammed it onto my finger anyway — and then realized that for the life of me I could not get it off. Soon my finger swelled up like a balloon and was bleeding from my attempts to get it over my knuckle, so it was clear we would need medical intervention (aka a ring cutter…at the emergency room) to get this thing off my finger.
"So we ended our hike early and headed back to the car so we could go to the ER quickly, get it taken care of, and then head to my parents house for dinner where we would surprise them with our engagement and our ridiculous ring story. As we started the drive, I was still attempting to try to get the ring off with floss, lotion, soaking my hand in cold water — the works. And then the car broke down. So we were stranded, not within walking distance of the ER or my parents house, newly engaged, and with my finger basically about to fall off — AND bordering on being late for Thanksgiving dinner. We had to call my family and tell them what happened (so much for the surprise!), and my dad had to come pick us up and take me to the ER to get the ring cut off while the car was towed. No, the jewelry store did not charge to have the diamond reset and new band, and no, my finger did not fall off. And the car recovered. So all's well that ends well."