My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy
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Author:  rx7locost [ October 13, 2023, 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy

Stupid stuff

Sorry for the long story. I just need to get this off my mind.

Last week, I had a low tire pressure light com on my dashboard in my daily driver. Nothing new to me. I’ve had a couple of tire problems lately. A year ago last July I had 4 new tires put on. General Aptiva RT43’s. The usual service was to do the pressure sensor service which basically replaces the valve stem. Shortly thereafter, the right-front tire was losing air. I took it back to the tire shop and they replaced the stem. All was good for maybe, 7-10 months. Again, the right-front tire began losing air. Pulled over to a parking lot and swapped out the mini-spare (in the rain) as I had about 20 miles to get home. The mini spare was low and needed to be topped off. Fortunately, a U-haul dealer was about 100 ft away and they graciously filled my spare. The next day, I took my low to a different shop to fix the tire. Again it was a leak at the valve stem. I could see the corrosion around the stem. That was fixed and now all is well.
Then last week I got another low tire pressure light. WTF? Since my car is not one that tells me which tire is low, I checked the tire pressures. This time, the right rear tire was low. A not so close inspection showed the head of a bolt sticking right into the tire. Now, this bolt was no ordinary bolt. Oh no. The head measured about 15/16” across the flats. That would mean a 5/8” diameter bolt somehow lodged itself thru the belts.

bolt in tire.jpg

I decided to take it back to the place I bought it for repair/replacement under the road hazard warranty. I drove the car 10 miles to the tire shop and they said it was unrepairable. The hole would be too large, based on the head size. The only solution was to purchase a new tire. What about the warranty? Well, the hazard warranty was listed on the original sales receipt alright, but the fine print showed “declined”. It sure sounds like something I would do. BTW, I never swapped out the tire for the mini-spare. It wasn’t loosing air that quickly. I didn’t want to pull it out for fear that would leave me stranded at a tire shop without a tire to put on. I hate mini spares. So I drove it home.

These tires have about 1/32 wear by now. I figured I would try to replace just the one unrepairable tire. I found another tire shop that showed they had inventory of my tire so I made an online purchase and scheduled service later that morning. About an hour later, I got an eMail reply that said the tire would be be delivered to the shop that day. I called the shop and they said it was coming from their warehouse. Should be there later that morning. Hmmmm, my appointment was scheduled for 11:00AM.

I did not receive a call that they received the tire so I called them again. This time he said the tire was not in the truck. Likely it would be there in the afternoon delivery. For safety’s sake, they ordered another tire. He would call if it was on the afternoon truck or not. No reply.

The next morning I called them. This time the answer was tire was delivered. I can come in that day for installation. which I did. I got there and the tires were not the ones I ordered. I ordered RT43. What they sent was RT45, the newer, replacement model. The RT43 was discontinued. I did not want the RT45, I wanted matching treads.

I stopped at another tire shop I knew that has done very good work for me in the past. Their internet was down. I asked if he could find my tire somewhere. I mean, the tires are only slightly over a year old. He called the 4 warehouses he deals with and nobody had my tire.

I went on my way. At home I found the RT43 tire at an on-line shop. I asked if they were RT43 or possibly RT45’s. The answer was RT43, as listed. I bought the tire, and it took a few days to be delivered. I received it this morning via FedEx delivery. It was an RT43 tire. I called my go-to shop to see if they could get me in. Not today was the reply. Called a new tire shop around the corner from me for installation. They were free and ½ hour later, the new tire was on the car.

The mounting equipment was right outside the shop viewing window. While watching them do the work, I noticed something very odd about the bad tire. The bolt didn’t look as large as I was expecting to see. Must be my eyes as I had cataract surgery last week. Yeah, it must be that. I asked to see the old tire. Sure enough, the very large head on the bolt was hiding a ¼” dia thread. WTF? Again with the WTF. I have never seen such an odd bolt. The head was stamped and formed, likely spot welded to the bolt’s shaft. The miles of driving wore it down and the head popped off when I removed it from the tire. I wonder what its design purpose was?


What the end result was, if I had done the regular thing, changed to the mini-spare, and done a better inspection of the tire, I could have saved a bunch of running around by simply repairing the tire and not spending $200 on a tire that wasn’t really needed. I kept the old tire. I may have it patched, purchase a wheel, and have a full sized spare.

P.S. For some reason my pictures will not load.

Author:  RichardSIA [ October 14, 2023, 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy

That is not a "Bolt" as we usually think of them.
It looks very much like the sort of leveling screws you find under appliances and some furniture.

Author:  horchoha [ October 14, 2023, 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy

RichardSIA wrote:
It looks very much like the sort of leveling screws you find under appliances and some furniture.
That's exactly what I thought!

Author:  rx7locost [ October 14, 2023, 6:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy

Thanks guys. I should have been able to ID it as such. It sure looked like a bolt when it was in the tire. Problem solved.

Author:  JAMADOR [ October 16, 2023, 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My Low Tire Pressure Oddyssy

I, too, had an unrepairable tire over the weekend, in my wife's truck [Ford Expedition Max].
2 nails, 1 in the outer tread block where Discount won't patch/plug.
Had hoped to get another 4-6 months out of this set. Decided to just go ahead & do all 4, as they were near enough to the wear bars that it wasn't worth doing just 1 tire.

New set of 275-55/20 Michelin LTX M/S2, wasn't cheap, but should be good for a few years on them & Michelin+Discount had a combined rebate going that knocked $110 off the total.

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