Archive for 2011-05-08

Screwed Tires   1 comment

We went to Indianapolis this weekend for Mother’s Day. The plan for Saturday night was for us to meet my in-laws downtown, where they would take my daughter, and I would take my wife to a Girlyman concert. The “meet downtown” part went without a hitch.

However, as we navigated away from downtown and to the concert venue, my dashboard lit up: tire needs air now! We pulled over, and the tires looked OK. At the theater, we checked, and still nothing. After the concert, however, the driver’s side rear tire looked low, but OK enough to get to a gas station to add air.

In the light of a flashlight, I saw a screw in the tire. Since the leak was slow, I figured proper inflation would get me back to my wife’s parents. We went carefully, and made it OK. During the ride, my wife checked, and found a place near her parents that could fix it.

Bright and early, I was there. They pulled my car into their shop, and looked at it. “It’s too close to the sidewall–you need to replace the tire.” 120 miles from home–I had no choice. He looks at his computer. The existing tire, with merely 6000 miles on it, was “V Rated.” Not matching it could, over time, damage the car. Regardless, it was something he didn’t have in stock.

Visits or calls to eight more tire shops filled my morning. I explained the details–screw in tire I was told couldn’t be patched, and a need to fix it today. No one seemed to have a V-rated tire, and didn’t inquire further.

I decided to call Sam’s Club, just asking about the size and rating. He looked, and said he didn’t have one, and started to check if he could order it. “Well, I really need it today…”

He then asked why it was so urgent. I explained about the nail and that the first shop said it couldn’t be repaired. He asked a few questions about where the puncture was, and then said, “They just wanted to sell you a tire. Bring it by and I’ll take a look.”

I figured I had nothing to lose. If this didn’t work out, I’d call Volvo to find out how critical the V-rated-ness of the tire was. I met Hubert, the tire department manager I spoke with on the phone. He looked at that. “We can patch it.” He called to his team “Who’s the best at repairing tires.” He brought his guy, who looked at it and agreed: it could be repaired.

He charged me nothing to repair it. I had him rotate the tires while he was at it for an additional $15.

This left me with a rather negative impression of the first place I went to, and I will now view tire places in general with a more skeptical eye. Also, I was quite pleased with the service I got at Sam’s Club. I may well buy my next set of tires from them–assuming they can get V-rated ones.

Posted 2011-05-08 by Mr. Guilt in house

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