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They Haven’t Tire-d Of You Yet

, , , , | Working | June 30, 2016

(I am on a road trip by myself from Manitoba to Alberta, about 12 hours of driving. My car is in rather rough shape, but I had gotten it tuned up before the trip and am trying to keep an eye on everything as I go. One of the things I check at each stop is the tire pressure, but somehow I never actually notice that my tires are so badly worn the metal wire is sticking through. Needless to say, my tire blows as I am driving. I pull onto a side road when I feel it going, and start the process of changing the tire for a spare. It’s getting late; I want to finish quickly so I can get to a store to fix the tire before everything closes. Unfortunately all the lug nuts are badly rusted, so I am really struggling when a convertible pulls up beside me.)

Driver: “Are you all right?”

Me: “Yes and no. I’m fine, but I can’t get this tire off.”

Driver: “Maybe I can help. Oh, wow, this tire is worn down to the wire.”

Me: “Wire?”

Driver: “You didn’t notice all the metal showing through? You’re lucky this didn’t blow while you were driving.”

Me: “Oh, geeze. I’ve been checking the tire pressure constantly and didn’t even notice. Yikes.”

Driver: “Your other front tire’s the same.”

(At this point I am starting to freak out a bit. I am very far from home, neither tire is coming off even with help, and I have no idea how I am going to get to a store to get new tires.)

Driver: “These aren’t coming off. Come on. I was actually just heading to the tire shop. I’ll give you a lift and they can come get the car.”

Me: “Thank you!”

(The tire shop he is going to is literally only two blocks down that road. He is well-known to the employees, and when he explains the situation they were happy to get their truck and grab my car. They tow it back to the shop and got to work taking off the damaged tires.)

Employee #1: “What did you do to these tires?! [Employee 2], come see these!”

Employee #2: “How were you even still driving? There’s nothing left to them.”

Me: “I actually just got them this year. And I had the car checked before I left and no one mentioned they were in bad shape. I still can’t believe I didn’t notice the metal when I was checking tire pressure all along.”

Employee #2: “That’s insane. These are literally the worst tires I have ever seen.”

Employee #1: *has managed to get the first tire off and is looking at wheel hub assembly* “And everything in here is completely rusted.” *he literally breaks off bits of the rusted metal disk inside with his fingers*

Me: “Oh, no. Will it still work to get me through the rest of the trip?”

Employee #1: “Yes, it can still go a bit, but when you get back home you’ll need to either replace the entire assembly or the whole car.”

Me: “Okay. That’s good. The car is only supposed to be temporary anyway; it wasn’t expected to last more than a year, and it’s already been almost two.”

Employee #2: “If you’re going to get rid of the car anyway there’s no point in getting nice new tires for it. We can probably just re-tread your tires. I’ll go see if we have everything we need already.”

(They did have whatever they needed, and in less than an hour my car was ready to go again. The original helpful driver even offered to pay for the repair for me. I paid, and gave him a huge hug for all his help. I was so overwhelmed the whole time. Not only had I been so lucky that my tire blew when I was going slowly, but it had done so within blocks of an awesome tire shop, and right when an amazingly kind stranger was about to pass. A major thank you to that friendly driver and those helpful employees. Because of them my trip went great and I made it home safely.)

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