FIL dropped car off of temp jack

Mar 2, 2004
I'll try to make this long story short--

Wife calls, immediately asks me where spare tire is on our 2015 Kia minivan. I ask... why? She says she has a flat (ran over an invisible curb) and that a stranger is there to put the spare on, but can't find it. I ask her to thank him for offering, but to decline the help. I can be there in 15 minutes and bring some decent tools with me and have it changed in 5 minutes, instead of fighting with the junk jack and garbage tools that come with the car. I also know there's likely not enough air in the spare (never checked it), so I can bring a portable air tank with me and make sure it's done right.

I have to call her for directions midway through my drive and she tells me she called her dad, and he offered to change it for her. I know he's closer and will get there before me, but I still also know it's in vain as the spare will need air. He's an old school car guy through and through, so I trust him to change a tire-- but I still feel like it's more efficient to use decent tools if she just wait an extra 5 minutes for me to get there.

I pull up to where she is, and I find the van sitting at a sharp angle, resting on the front passenger ball joint. Her dad raised it to take the tire off, did so, and then the van fell off the temp jack. I get out of the car, visibly and audibly upset (should have probably just kept my cool and fixed the situation; easier said than done), he gets defensive and upset and it escalates from there, nearly to the point he was threatening a fist-fight. I wasn't trying to dog his abilities, but I think he took it that way. I was just trying to convey that if everybody would have waited an extra 5 minutes, I had a full size floor jack, jack stand, air tank, breaker bar with 21mm socket, everything I would need to change the tire in 5 minutes flat. And I know how the spare tire comes off, which everybody was puzzled about. But I know he's her dad and wants to come to the rescue.

Still can't get it across to the wife to CALL ME FIRST before anyone else. If I'm 60 miles away, I get it. Have the stranger change the tire, her dad, whoever as long as she gets back on the road safe and I'll deal with it later. But at least give me the opportunity.

Miraculously no damage done. Whatever curb she hit must have had something sharp embedded in it, because there's a 1/2" wide slit right above the bead (going parallel with the rim, oddly) almost like somebody stabbed it with a knife. Missed the rim by a millimeter or two. Ball joint (sticks down below the control arm) has some scuffing on the bottom from the vehicle falling, but no worse for the wear. Temp jack is ruined, but somehow the pinch weld and side of the car / paint were unscathed.

I feel like I'm not wrong to be upset, but could have approached the situation more calmly. But I also feel everyone should have waited 5 dang minutes. Anyone else have a similar story, and how did you handle it?
don't argue with in-laws, don't argue with your wife either; yet, hold your ground

I've learnt it a long ago
Ha, I usually don't and the FIL and I have a pretty good relationship. But I've never turned a corner to see my $20K vehicle sitting on its suspension/brake rotor either, when I was only 5 minutes away, and all somebody had to do was have a little patience.

We both apologized, shook hands, and I was really thankful that he could be there and made sure he knew that. Just that if I'm 5 minutes away, please wait for me.
Whenever I bring up the need for a spare tire, the people on "Bob" say why bother, no-one gets flats anymore.

I still get flats (one every few years) but apparently no-one else does. So welcome to the rare "I get flats too" club.
I've had 4 or 5 flats fixed in the last year or so. One was on wifey's Model 3. Over $400 for a new Conti... Sheesh!
Is the question about jacking up a car? Your wife’s inclination to call her Dad? Your relationship with her? Or your relationship with him?
I think the question is should he revoke the wife's driving privileges and not allow her to drive anymore since when she does she hits a curb and then doesn't wait an extra 5 minutes after being told to wait 5 minutes and her marriage vows probably included obeying her husband and everyone knows you don't let anyone touch a man's vehicle without express permission.
Whenever I bring up the need for a spare tire, the people on "Bob" say why bother, no-one gets flats anymore.

I still get flats (one every few years) but apparently no-one else does. So welcome to the rare "I get flats too" club.
Not everyone says that. You get a half dozen responses out of a site that has a membership of over 70,000, and you call it “the people” which is a gross misrepresentation of the site sentiment.

I maintain spare tires by checking the pressure every oil change and lowering the ones with a mechanism to ensure they’re available if needed.

Just had a tire on the Volvo XC pick up a nail. Didn’t need the spare, but was glad to know it was available and had been checked only months prior.
Your wife should be calling you instead of her Dad. She’s undermining your role and damaging your relationship. She owes you an apology.

Your FIL did his best and the cheap jack failed. You owe him an apology.

You let your wife drive a car with a bad spare. That’s your failure. You owe her an apology.

You lost your temper in front of them. You owe them both an apology.

Man up, own your mistakes, all of them, start apologizing.

Then, talk with your wife about who she called and why.
92, I am not going to give you advice on your situation.

I will tell you what works for me if faced with a similar situation. I first focus on task at hand and not the past state that caused it. Resolve the immediate problem, and plan later for evaluation cause and effect. Deflection of tempers is also healthier, and allows you to think clearly before, during, and after the situation at hand.
I feel like I'm not wrong to be upset, but could have approached the situation more calmly. But I also feel everyone should have waited 5 dang minutes. Anyone else have a similar story, and how did you handle it?
Sweetie got a screw in her tire, and it was slowly losing air. She took it to the nearest tire shop for a repair and they tried to sell her a new tire. She called me and asked if she should take it to our usual place and have them look at it as she wasn't sure she needed a new tire. Short story even shorter, she took it to our usual shop, they saved the tire, and sweetie drove on happily.

My involvement was to support her and her decision. She was a very capable woman.

Another time she destroyed a wheel and tire by hitting some debris on the freeway. She took it to one of the shops we used and they quoted her a price for a new wheel and tire. I could have gotten the items for quite a bit less, but she insisted on doing it her way. I felt she was making a mistake, but kept my mouth shut. She had all the info she needed to make a decision, and even though it wasn't what I'd have done, it worked for her. She opted to spend more $$$ to get the repair and wheel replacement a done bit quicker.
Your wife should be able to put a spare tire on without anyones help.
Or you just add the $12/car/year roadside assistance thru insurance and someone changes it. Changing tire is not always easy especially if hub is rusted to rim or a heavy tire on an SUV.
It's unclear to me why the van fell off the jack but regardless, seems like you and your wife should coordinate better, tough to come between her and her Dad in such a situation. Also sounds like there have been apologies all around so kudos there.

Anyone else have a similar story, and how did you handle it?
Mine is a bit different but still has some similarities. My wife and I met in college, spent the first summer dating swapping weekends making the 3 hour drive to see each other. One of her weekends on the return trip she leaves and I go to my job, I don't get a call or text after 3 or 4 hours that she made it back safe so I call her, turns out she sat on the side of the road about an hour from me because she got a flat, called AAA but they could not find her (not sure this is necessarily on AAA or if she was not really paying close attention to where she was on the highway, this is the time of flip phones and 700 minute family plans). Ended up that someone stopped on the highway and put the spare on, got her on her way home.

So the frustration point for me, the tires were a "favor" (not asked for) from her soon to be BIL at the time (who was the "car guy" in the family) and as I understand it once the story was told within her nuclear family when she got home, the response from him was something along the lines of oh yeah, those tires were not worthy of long car rides.

Ironically, that is the single event that likely got me more interested in cars/learning how to do some PM and basic troubleshooting, etc. I knew enough at the time to change a spare, check fluids, tires etc. but nothing crazy and I still don't have a significant automotive skill set like many on here.
I think you are right to be upset, she knew you were on the way with a proper jack, she should have told your father in law that and he should have waited, particularly when she knew you were close.

I'd cut her and him some slack though if this sort of thing does not happen often, having a flat can be stressful, particularly if you aren't in the best spot. i'd bill him for the ball joint and jack though. (Joking - sort of)

The rim is probably what cut the tire from your description, thats the poi with the curb.