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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Adventures In Vehicle Ownership

The other morning, I stepped into the garage to leave for work and discovered my left, rear tire was flat. Completely flat. This is the one tire on my car that manages to find any nail in a five-block radius. It doesn't matter where it is on the car, this is the one that picks up the debris. It's been plugged many times and had developed a leak around the bead seal. I thought that had been fixed, but as I looked, I thought: Guess not.

I took a vacation day, realized it was far too early for any car service center to be open, and resigned myself to a frustrating day once they did open. I called my dad later in the morning and told him the problem. He suggested I buy a new car. Um, yeah, dad, sure.

Now, to be fair to him, my car is a 1998, but there's been nothing mechanically wrong with the car. Everything I've dealt with has been routine maintenance and things like replacing the battery. I wasn't ready to get rid of her and take on a car payment again.

So after calling around and making a decision on where to bring the car, I called AAA and someone came out to inflate the tire. Only problem? This wasn't a slow leak around the bead seal as I'd assumed. I could hear that tire hissing air out fast and furious. Adrenaline kicked in. I leapt behind the wheel, started the car, and drove like a maniac, praying all the way that I'd make it to the car place before the tire got too low for me to drive on it.

I think I hit every light. No lie. Panic rose with each delay.

Finally, finally!, I made it. The service guy found a hole in the tire, on the corner where it can't be plugged. But that tire already had so many plugs in it, that the last time it was patched, I was told it probably couldn't be done again. I also knew that I needed new tires this fall anyway.

Bottom line was four new tires and getting all the corrosion polished off my rims. Sometimes owning a car isn't the awesome experience I imagined it would be when I was in high school.