Ode to tire goo

The last date stamp of a post like this … January. Ffffffffffff. If this happens again, I’m really going to develop a neuroses around road trips.

So the last time I had tire related carnage, we were an hour and a half from the start and we turned tail and flipped it around. This time around, again, about an hour and a half from the start. Everything was chill up until the tire pressure management system in the car said ‘Heeeeeyy girrrrrll. It’s ya boi right front tire. Just hollerin to say I’m down to 37psi which is pretty weird since all my homies straight chillin at 45. Ok byeeeeeee’.

Well shit. We know how this works, right children? There’s no hopeful thoughts of maybe the system being wrong or that we can fill it and keep going. I pull it on over on the next exit and praise be that we were still in civilization. Quick check of the tire next to the air pump and I didn’t see a machete hanging out of the tire at least, but I could hear the parseltongue hiss of my tire saying “i hate you” coming from somewhere. Back in the car, J was checking around for places that might mend a tire since it was only 10:30ish and there was one down the road. Roll up to the super mom and pop shop and while they normally would, the guy wasn’t around and she wouldn’t know when he’d be back. But hey, she gave a list of a couple other places to try. Trying them out, one said they might have some time around 1 and the other said we could drop it off and they’d get to it when they could.

Executive decision time, right? I took a final jeopardy amount of time to deliberate and decided to roll the dice to get home in the early AM versus the later AM. The cooler comes out the back with some other minor items and I fetch the emergency goo kit and the inflator. You know, an inflator that I tried to use last time and it kerploded a little and if you wanted to get a new one from Audi it was $500 for something that was really a $30 item down at wally world but that’s what warranties are for and they gave me a new one. I hooked up the goo IV bottle into the hemorrhaging beast and started pumping. After no more sloshing in the bottle, I rolled up to get real pressure into the tire from the gas station air pump and we hopped back on the highway.

I quickly brought it up to 72mph, far beyond every warning sticker that said ‘ACHTUNG NO MORE THAN 50MPH, DUMMKOPF’ and waited for TPMS to say no thank you to the impromptu fix. 1 mile. 5 miles. 10 miles. 700 miles later, home. Not a single pound of pressure was lost. It may not work for all your tire ills, but it worked for me in a pinch. Yes, 72, because 50 on the interstate is a death wish.

I rolled back to the discount tire to have it checked out since that’s where I had my winter tires swapped out and they said I had a warranty there too. I checked in, dude said ‘oh yeah, I remember that one. everyone was talking about how big the brake calipers were’. Yeah, that’s right. My wagon milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. But an hour and a half later, my ride rolls back out for me with a patched tire. I was expecting some kind of bad news saying it was unfixable and I’d have to go find another 4 tires because they are made of unicorn hide and they only have those at the central warehouse in narnia. But I figured after 10 minutes that I hadn’t heard anything, there weren’t any show stoppers.

But yeah, that was high and low light of my wednesday and thursday.

Consumer reports gave me an education though around the different products to make emergency tire fixes. There are a few types, one is an aerosol can that adds goo and inflates the tire a little bit. It’s not very good. the other one is where you have to take the valve core out and dump some amount of goo into the tire directly. It also worked, but getting valve cores in and out is fiddly. The last type is the one I have where it has a container of goo and that you plug into a tire and then put the air chuck into that bottle to blow the shmoo into the tire. As far as I can tell, the big manufacturers all get basically the same stuff that may come from a company in the UK called ‘Airman’. You can get a kit with the combined compressor and goo off amazon. Since the car tires are giant, the 620ml bottle wasn’t available on amazon, but it was from grainger but I suspect that’s only a me problem. If I get another flat before it gets here on tuesday, I might as well end it all.

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