You dream flat tires

Flat tire for

As you may remember, I am wary of flat tires. I hate being stuck somewhere with a flat or, worse, a blowout. So maybe six weeks ago, I went to the garage around the corner to have someone look at a rear tire that looked low; I was taking a long road trip the next day. It was pretty cold out, and I could tell the mechanic didn’t want to take the tire off, but he examined it as best he could while it was still on the car and said he didn’t see anything. He filled it and advised me to keep an eye on it.

So this Monday morning, that same tire was dead flat. There was just enough air left for me to drive it to the garage, which I did. Then I walked home.

A few hours later, the garage owner called me back and said there was nothing wrong with the tire. I walked back to the garage and drove home. Of course, by yesterday morning, it was flat again.

So I called AAA, and they sent someone out to put on the spare. He was a chatty guy, and after he took off the tire, he pointed and said, “See that?” Not one, but two nails in my tire. Nails no one else ever spotted.

The neighborhood garage is terrible; I only go there when I need something simple (like fixing a flat tire). Now they can’t even do that right.

Happy lunar eclipse, everyone!

6 thoughts on “You dream flat tires

  1. Unbelievable. Good thing that AAA guy was on the ball! I’ve have two flat tires since my local garage recommended a few years ago that they be changed (the original tires never got flat!). Every time I go to the car I walk around it to check the tires, I’m super paranoid about that now.

  2. Republicans, no doubt.

    My first thought was valve stem, a two dollar replacement part the even most tire shops miss. A six dollar can of FixAFlat is always a wise investment.

    As an aside, this winter I picked up Mexican Made tires for my van, just as good as any other, near as I can tell, only half the cost.

  3. So now I’ve gotta offer a defense of the neighborhood garage. I have a Suzuki that has had an intermittent chirp/squeak/scream for two and a half years. The dealership has had it in twice for this alone when it was really loud. The first time they replaced the serpentine belt. The noise was back in 48 hours. Last week I took it in again and they pulled and replaced the AC condenser. So I have a grand into a noise. It comes back in a day. I tell this story to a retired neighbor who was once an auto mechanic. He pops the hood and says, “Wow, its coming off the pulley from the water pump.” He grabs a can of light lube and sprays the central shaft of the water pump. The noise goes away for half a minute. “Take it down to LeRoy’s and tell them to put a rebuilt water pump in it.” So today I did. The shop writer prices it all out at $380. I am just about to get in the courtesy teen’s car when the mechanic waves me over in the lot. “You might as well wait because I won’t be needing a pump. That’s a belt noise.” I argue about our test and he grabs a stethoscope and listens to the water pump. That’s fine. “You over sprayed the belt. If I put soap and water on the belt, the squeal will go away temporarily. “But they already put a belt in there!” “Yeah and it was cheap crap.” Forty five minutes later I get the car back after he installs an “alligator” S belt. How quiet was it running? I tried to engage the starter on a vehicle the mechanic had left idling. The bill was a third of the quote and I got the car back within an hour.

    Luck of the draw, I guess.

  4. The garage owner is a gun dealer, and I suspect it’s how he makes most of his money — because it seems like he actively works to keep people from coming back.

    Fortunately, this morning I went to a local tire guy I found on Yelp, and he was great. Plugged the holes while I waited — for $10. Nice guy!

  5. I’ve had very good luck with using Firestone dealers as first-line maintenance garages- oil changes, brakes, tires, lights, wiper blades, batteries, starters, water pumps, hoses, belts, plug wires. They have standards.
    Your mileage may vary, of course.

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