Roadtrip tire experience from heck

Right now, we are returning from a trip to Houston. That’s right, we are returning at this moment. The internets and Googles on the cell phone iz awesome, and I’m not driving. :-)

Yesterday afternoon, I found a deflated front tire on our Maxima. It was fine the night before. This is a problem because I had to get it fixed on New Year’s Day and, if unrepairable, I have to get a hard-to-find tire size. (Check any major tire chain for tires for a 2002 Nissan Maxima SE–most have to special order the tires!)

Wal Mart was the only nearby, open-on-New-Year’s-Day tire place. I made a trip to the tire department and got it fixed. Mounted the tire, and it lost 3 PSI over the next hour. Great, back to Wal Mart. On the second trip, we found a nail in the tire’s shoulder, which is between the sidewall and the main treads. The Wal Mart techs couldn’t fix it per company policy. Discount Tire and others say you aren’t supposed to repair nails outside the main tread area. This makes some sense; radial tires aren’t rigid like the old biased tires. They continuously flex up and down with each wheel revolution. A patch in this part of the tire could easily work itself loose.

Can’t fix it, and I am not going to drive back with this tire. The nail could work itself loose in transit. If it does, all I have is that temporary spare, leaving me little option but to depend on the generosity of Bubba in a “middle of nowhere” town, and it’s unlikely Bubba would be able to get me another 225/50R17 tire in short order.

Wal Mart didn’t have my size tire in stock. They would have to special order, and that would take 3-4 days. So after calling several places, many of which weren’t even open, I lucked out with a Sears only 9 miles from the Wal Mart that had a suitable tire in stock. $157 and 1.5 hours later and we are on the road.

By the time we finally left Houston, we could have been home for 30 minutes.

We ended up with a decent Falken tire. It has more tread than the other front tire, so the front alignment is slightly off.

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