On Sunday the Emperor got an oil change and as always, I rotated his tires as well. When I checked over the right rear tire before putting it back on the front, I spotted something shiny, looked like some sort of a spike. I didn’t want to pull it out for fear that it would go flat, so I decided to take it to a LTS to let them pull it out.
I tossed the tire in the trunk of the Sonata and headed over to a small shop around the corner. They were of course closed, so I tried a second locally owned store not too much further away. They too were closed on Sunday. This left me no other option but to pay a visit to the big name brand chain place that had I swore never to visit again after they scratched the heck out of my aftermarket rims installing tires on the previous Miata.
I rolled the tire up to the desk and asked the guy behind the cash register if could they fix it. The fellow asked if I’d been there before and I said sure, but a long time ago. So I gave him my phone number and he asked, “Brian?” I said, “Yep, I guess I’m still in there.” “When was the last time I was here?” “2002,” he replied.
He said, “I’ll have to get someone to see if it can be fixed.” And about that time some moke who worked there was passing by on his way somewhere, so the fellow asked him. This guy eyeballed the tire and said, “I don’t think that goes all the way through.” He spun 180° and went back to get a pair of pliers. Then straddling the tire, grabbed the spike and pulled. He was right, it didn’t go all the way through. It was a small screw embedded in a tire block almost perpendicular to the tire. It looked like a spike because the screw had been worn in half so I was seeing almost a cross section of it.
The guy in the work shirt with his name over the pocket handed me the screw piece, slipped the pliers into his back pocket and continued in the direction he was headed before we interrupted him. I looked over at the cashier and asked, “What do I owe you?” He said, “Nothing, don’t worry about it, we’ll get you next time”
I said, “Thanks. See you in 2026.”