Nov
14
2008

  Yet Another Punctured Tire

After quilting class today, I had to go to the tire shop to get yet another leaky tire fixed. I had to get two tires patched last year, then we had a blowout on New Year's Eve (poor Terry had to change the tire off the side of I64W at 1am in the freezing cold). Now yet another tire has been losing air, and it's bad enough we just can't keep filling it up every other day.

The tire shop gave me a little hassle about patching it since there are two punctures in it, and they're only 6" apart. Per the tire guy, the tire manufacturers don't recommend multiple patches less than 12" apart; something to do with weakening the radials. He wanted me to buy new tires, since the patch would be unsafe.

Since I don't know all this business about weak radials and punctures too close together, I asked if it would be so unsafe for him to patch it that I would be better off just refilling it every couple days and leaving the holes unpatched? Then he relented, since he said leaving it unpatched would be the most dangerous. Since I made it clear that I definitely was not spending $750 on new tires today, he went ahead and patched the tire. For $22. That's more what I had in mind.

But I did put Terry on the case when I got home. We do have 35,000 miles on these tires, and the tread is starting to go, so buying new tires isn't out of the question. I just wasn't going to make a snap decision about this. I especially am not keen on replacing the tires with the same kind that have been on the car, since obviously punctures are a problem.

I haven't had any tires on the truck suffer puncture wounds, but then I don't drive it nearly as much as the car. I suspect all the driving we do on gravel is a large part of the problem. One of my neighbors sold his sports car since he could only use high-performance tires on it, and they kept getting punctures in them as well. So Terry's going to find out what kind of tires are sturdy enough for gravel. We might wind up putting truck tires on the Lexus if that means we don't have to deal with patching the tires every several months. We're not going to be making the 300+ mile drive to and from NYC very often anymore, so highway performance is less of an issue. Most of our travel is still highway miles, but it's local and we're off the highway in about 15 minutes so a perfectly smooth ride is less of a concern now than when we were in the car for 7 hours at a stretch twice a month.