you know what’ll wake you up faster than any energy drink?
having all FOUR tire pressure sensors go off when you’re in the middle of bum fuck at night!
so it went sunday night on the way home from the shop. i’d decided to skip dinner and drinks and just head home (because it was too late to hit the gym since they closed at eight AND i was still kinda full from brunch and drinks earlier) so i headed home clear headed, which ended up being a VERY good thing.
i got about ten miles outside lockhart when *BING* “LOW TIRE” came up on my screen and all FOUR lit up yellow. what the fuck?!? as the car wasn’t driving weird i figured it was a malfunction so i pulled over in a parking lot, opened the door and leaned out to look at the back tire and all looked good. so hit the reset button and took off and all lit up green…for about a quarter mile. but then the left driver’s side tire lit up. as it was one of two run flats i didn’t think much of it, and kept going at around seventy…but i did notice the car was starting to pull a bit.
educational moment – with every ten degree drop in ambient temperature your tire pressure goes down one (1) p.s.i. so when we go from chronic triple digits to rainy seventies it’s not uncommon to see a slight dip in pressure. that’s why i didn’t totally sweat this.
i keep trying to reset it at various stops but it persisted so i stopped under a street light and it looked pretty low, or at least as low as run flats look. i have a talking tire pressure gauge (handy as fuck at night when you can’t see the display) so i tried it in my driveway but it was strangely quiet. figuring it had a dead battery i tried it on a back tire and heard it say “twenty-eight point five” which was low, but about as low as i’d expect given the temperature difference. still silent on that front one, though, so i pushed in the valve stem with my knife point expecting a hiss. my phone light revealed the reason – zero point zero on the gauge.
“low” would be temperature – but flat was a different story. i came in the house since in the dark there was nothing i could do, knowing monday would be the “reveal”.
the next day i tried to air it up and could instantly hear air leaking – it turns out the tire belt had split (internally) and the tread and sidewall were now disconnected, save for a thin rubber membrane that was easily punctured by road debris. it was toast. i took os to school in mr. grey and went back to start in on the wheel only to find the lugs had been EXTREMELY over tightened. i started with a breaker bar, a knock down from 1/2 to 3/8, and a socket extension, which subsequently snapped. i then realized the extension wasn’t needed, so i put the socket directly on the knockdown, which also snapped.
the knock down was dura-last brand from autozone, so headed there since i now knew i needed a 1/2 17mm socket. procured the socket for seven bucks, and the knockdown was replaced for free since it’s got a lifetime warranty. the extension ALSO has a lifetime warranty being stanley brand, but said warranty isn’t honored by the store that sold it (wal-mart) but rather by the brand, which you have to call on the phone, and then you’re given an address via the phone tree to send the part back in. it’s a socket extension that’s now in two pieces, so at least it’s an easy diagnosis. i wonder how much i’m looking at in shipping for a two dollar tool part?
tire has since been replaced, although not with a run flat. guess i just get to think hopeful thoughts while i tool about and now deal with the headlight condensation issue that’s arisen.