Tires – What a Pain

Saturday before last, I loaded up my trailer with some light trash and went to the local dump. On the way back, about a mile from the dump, the trailer’s right tire shredded. So there I was, in misting rain, with no tools and no spare, a few miles from home. I parked the trailer in the most convenient ditch, went home, got tools, went back, and jacked up the trailer and removed the wheel.
Those Hi-Lift jacks are wonderful things to have. Money well spent.
So then I took the tire into the nearest large town to the company I usually do my tire business with. They mounted a new tire for me in about ten minutes, and I went all the way back out to the trailer, mounted the tire in the misting rain, hooked it back up and took it home.
Because the remaining tire was in about the same shape, I dismounted it as well. During the week I took it in and got it replaced, matching the other new tire. So tires on the trailer cost about $150 total.
Then, last Saturday, I took Texas Grandma’s Dodge Grand Caravan in to the same tire dealer to have two new tires mounted. During this work, the tire mechanic destroyed the air pressure monitor inside the tire. So the shop went to the Dodge dealership and bought a replacement, and installed it.
Of course, then the sensor wouldn’t synchronize with the van’s computer. So I took it back to the tire place; after a couple of phone calls, they told me to take it to the Dodge dealer and they’ll take care of it. I did so. It turns out that when you replace one of these sensors, you have to have the dealer program the van’s computer to know about that sensor. This costs around $50, which will be paid by the tire company.
After I sat there for about an hour and a half, the dealer coordinator told me that they couldn’t get it to synch, that it must be damaged. Either the tire dealer damaged it when they installed it, or it was defective. In the first case, the tire dealer pays for it; in the second, it is warranted. But they didn’t have time Saturday to do this work, so Texas Grandma gets to take the van back to the dealer tomorrow to resolve this.
This is a perfect example of nanny state laws going wrong. Because some people can’t be bothered to check the air in their tires, our illustrious government passed a law that every vehicle starting in 2008 has to have tire pressure sensors. This is wasted on me – I ride motorcycles, and I BELIEVE in keeping up with my tires. So I have to pay for these things in the first place; and I have a new point of failure. If I was paying for all this, it would have cost me over $100 to replace this sensor, which I don’t want or need.
And it wasted half of last Saturday, and it’s going to waste another couple of hours of Texas Grandma’s time tomorrow. Between us, we’ve spent way to much money, and especially time, on tires in the last couple of weeks.
All because an incompetent mechanic made a mistake with some new technology.

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