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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012

Clark blows out a tire on his Nissan Leaf

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By Clark Howard


Have you read the owner's manual in your car? I was recently in a situation where I wished I had.

Last night, I was riding along in a rain storm on a road that was being repaved. The pavement had been scraped leaving a little thin layer that opened into a sinkhole, and I hit it going 40 miles per hour in my Nissan Leaf!

So I hear this audible explosion and lose control of the car in a major tire blowout.

When I regained control, I pulled onto a side street and got out to look at the damage in the pouring rain. My tire looked like it had been through the meat grinder. So I got back the car and pull out the owner's manual to locate the spare tire.

But there's no listing for 'spare tire' in the index.

No problem, I think as I flip through the book and find the tire section. That was the first I learned that the car doesn't come with a spare tire!

It comes with a little can of aerosol to temporarily inflate the tire so you can drive somewhere to get it fixed. That was not working with my blowout!

The manual also explained where the tools are to change a tire if you had one. I get the tools out and realize there's no jack. So there's no way to change a tire even if I could!

Back to the manual. I realize that it says to call a flatbed tow truck and have the car towed to change the tire in the event of a blowout. Are you kidding me? But that's how they designed the car. Now I'm having a tow to the tire center at Costco.

But the think I was thinking about after incident was that I never looked at the owner's manual when I got the car. I know for some people it's like true nerd alert -- in a good way -- when you buy a new car to sit and go through the manual. But I never did it.

Take the time to read that owner's manual! If you do, you won't be by the side of the road feeling like a soaked idiot like I was!

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