The Ram's Eye - A Driver's Blog: An unfortunate first post.. or is it?



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Monday, 12 November 2012

An unfortunate first post.. or is it?

Well, I took my car in for service today because my passenger side rear tire was losing pressure. The car had been parked during the last week of October because of the bad weather. When I took the car out last week, a low tire pressure warning came on and I thought it was just because the car was parked for a week in cold weather so I simply filled up the tires and drove away. While I was filling the tires, I heard a slight "hissing" noise but I didn't think much of it and thought it was just the air compressor.

The next day, the low tire pressure warning was back and I figured the hissing noise must have been coming from one of the tires. I checked tire pressure all around and one of them was down to 15 psi. Now I know I definitely have a problem. I filled it up because I had to go run some errands and drove away. I get in the car the next morning and, yes, the warning was back. I scheduled an appointment to get the tire checked because I couldn't see any damage.

I knew the tires were expensive because I have wide low profile tires (stock) but I didn't check how expensive before I went. When I got back in the car today to take in for service, there was no warning light, even though the car has been parked all of yesterday. I was starting to get a little hopeful but when I went in and had it looked at, I was in for a shock.. the tire had a nail in the sidewall (no idea how it got there) so it was not repairable. I always like to replace damaged tires instead of repairing them because I believe the integrity of the tire just won't be the same but I still would have liked to have the option.. but no, at least one tire has to be replaced.

Now I already have a few concerns; the rear tires are going to have unequal treads, I don't want to replace two rear tires because I have a perfectly fine tire, and they will be very expensive to replace.. how expensive, exactly? $617.99 + taxes (15% where I live) + $30 for installation and balancing.. PER tire. Almost anything auto related is more expensive in Canada and tires are no exception.

The tire is a lot cheaper in the US but, unfortunately, ordering it online doesn't save that much because by the time duties and shipping charges are added, they cost nearly the same. Still, some savings are better than nothing. However, I have wanted to downsize wheels for a while. My car comes stock with 19" wheels and I have been interested in lightweight 18" wheels so this might be the time to replace!

I started to try to convince myself to shell out the money.. cheaper 18" replacement tires compared to the stock 19" replacement tires, slightly better gas mileage because of the reduced unsprung and overall weight, and better track performance. Am I convinced? I think so! I have until the spring because I also have a truck that I will be driving through the winter so I'm going to wait until the spring or a good sale to buy new wheels. At this point, where most married men would have to try and convince their wives, I've been fortunate enough to have a wife that leaves all car related decisions up to me so.. it's time to go wheel shopping!

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