Today I woke up to find a nail embedded in one of my tires. Lord only knows how long it’s been there but luckily it was in the tread so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem having it removed. I drove down to my local tire center (I think it was American Tires, Tire Depot, Tires ‘R’ Us or something like that) and asked them if they could fix it. And in good salesman-fashion the tire guy looked at all my tires & promptly told me that I needed 4 new tires because my Michelin’s were starting to crack. The dollar signs just added up in my head as he continued to talk about further car repairs. I told him that “I would think about it” but for now I just wanted to have the nail removed from my tire. Well, he got to working on it & voila!, within one hour I was nail-free & ready to go.
Since I don’t have a boyfriend or a husband to handle these matters, I called up my dad. He told me that since I don’t drive very often I should be able to trade my tires in for their unused tread to go towards the purchase of some new tires. He also told me to look for tire recalls. That sounded like a great idea but unfortunately for me my Michelin’s didn’t have a recall. So, it looks like I’ll be buying 4 new tires in the very near future.
Amidst all of this, I thought I would inform everyone of good tire protectiveness. Below are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to take good care of your tires.
Ladies, if you’re like me & have to do this all on your own then please take heed:
Having old, cracked or well-worn tires can cause some serious damage to your car. Checking out your tires regularly can protect you from breakdowns, crashes and give your car better fuel economy & increased tire life. Simply checkout the handy checklist below –
- Check tire pressure regularly (at least once a month), including the spare.
- Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs of wear or trauma. Remove bits of glass and other foreign objects wedged in the tread.
- Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
- Check tire pressure before going on a long trip.
- Do not overload your vehicle. Check the tire information placard or owner’s manual for the maximum recommended load for the vehicle.
- If you are towing a trailer, remember that some of the weight of the loaded trailer is transferred to the towing vehicle.
- Slow down if you have to go over a pothole or other object in the road.
- Do not run over curbs, and try not to strike the curb when parking.
There’s Safety In Numbers
You can find the numbers for recommended tire pressure and vehicle load limit on the tire information placard and in the vehicle owner’s manual. Tire placards are permanent labels attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove-box door, or inside of the trunk lid. Once you’ve located this information, use it to check your tire pressure and to make sure your vehicle is not overloaded—especially when you head out for vacation.
Checking Tire Pressure
Because tires may naturally lose air over time, it is important to check your tire pressure at least once a month. For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Gauges can be purchased at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets. Remember, the tire inflation number that vehicle manufacturers provide reflects the proper pounds per square inch (psi) when a tire is cold. To get an accurate tire pressure reading, measure tire pressure when the car has been unused for at least three hours.
Step 1: Locate the correct tire pressure on the tire information placard or in the owner’s manual.
Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires.
Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.
Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pressure and the correct tire pressure. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you will need to add.
Step 5: At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is underinflated.
Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).
Checking Tire Tread
Tires have built-in tread wear indicators that let you know when it is time to replace your tires. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear even with the outside of the tread, it is time to replace your tires. You can also test your tread with a Lincoln penny. Simply turn the penny so Lincoln’s head is pointing down and insert it into the tread. If the tread doesn’t cover Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Remember no matter what – check your tires once a month!
It’s also good to know when the tread is running low on your tires. Click on the image below to learn more about the “penny test”
My car battery broke down today. Well, it really happened yesterday but I’m still dealing with it today. I actually noticed the problem on Sunday because on my way to church my engine was having issues. When I put the key in the ignition all I heard was a clicking noise and I had to try 2-3 times before the engine actually started. I didn’t think too much of it and was just glad to be able to make it to the house of the Lord without any problems. After church the car did start but, again, it didn’t start right away. I had plans on Sunday afternoon but I canceled them because I didn’t want my car to get stuck.
Monday morning I had a very important meeting to go to so I made sure to leave my home extra early, in case there were any problems with starting my car. I made it to my meeting on time (early actually) but instead of dealing with the hassle of it all after the meeting, I decided to call a tow truck. So now I’ve got AAA involved. The tow truck comes but it’s not the one that I ordered. I specifically asked for a flatbed truck – you know the kind of truck that your car sits on top of, but that’s not what they sent me. They sent me a smaller truck instead – the kind that pulls your car behind it – so I turned it away. After waiting 30 minutes for the original tow truck, I now had to wait an additional 20 minutes for the actual truck that I ordered in the first place. So the tow driver gets in my car & much to my chagrin it starts with no problem. He asked me if I still wanted a tow since my car was now running. I told him that since he was already there and I had been having problems with my car earlier that he should just go ahead & tow it directly to the mechanic. (Plus I never get to use my AAA card, so why the heck not?!)
When I got to my mechanic I waited for 2 hours while he replaced the battery. When he came to tell me my car was ready he also told me that the battery seemed rather new and I should check to see if there was a warranty on it. That’s when it dawned on me that I had replaced my car battery a couple of years ago at a local Sear’s auto repair shop. Shoot!
When my car was ready I paid the bill and raced home to look up my old car repair receipts. Sure enough my car battery was replaced in November, 2010 meaning I was just one month shy of the 3-year warranty. The faulty battery was still under warranty. Yippee! Well, now I wanted my money back especially since I couldn’t return the new battery. But wait, in order to make good on the warranty Sears needed to have the old battery back. Are you following me so far?
In order to release the bad battery so that I could take it back to Sears my mechanic needed to have a battery in its place. Kind of like collateral, you could say. Apparently, there is a disposal fee for car batteries and if my mechanic wasn’t actually going to dispose of my battery then he needed to dispose of another battery in its place. So here I am at Sears with the old battery and realized that they will have to keep that battery so that they can send it back to the manufacturer. Now what am I to do? I have a new battery under my hood, the faulty battery in my trunk and now a brand new battery to take home. Oh but wait, I still need to take a battery back to the mechanic. I asked the guys at Sears if they had an old junk battery that I could take off their hands but they didn’t. I didn’t want to give my mechanic the new Sears battery, because it’s brand new and he might just try to sell it to someone else (and we can’t have that, can we?!). I didn’t have an old battery to give to him & I certainly can’t return the new battery he just installed in my car, so what’s a girl to do?!
Its days like this, I wish I had a man to take care of this stuff for me. I mean all this running around and dealing with my car has really taken a toll on me. I’m able to handle it all, but it would be sooo nice to have a man in my life that can handle things like this. A boyfriend who can tell me not to worry, will get my car fixed and deal with the whole battery situation. (Side note: Do men ever have situations where they wish they had a woman in their life?)
Anyway, until that day comes I guess I’ll just keep handling my business on my own like I always have. I just hope to have a man soon enough that can take care of all the “manly” things in my life so I can focus on the “womanly” things. =)
(In case you’re wondering, I ended up taking the brand new battery with me and plan on selling it to the highest bidder. No I wasn’t able to return the new battery so I ended up paying the mechanic the disposal fee out of my own pocket)