Wednesday, April 21

Belle Tire

This will be a quickish blog post today.

I just wanted to say that I had to change my first tire today. That wasn't a ton of fun. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and the sun was shining which did make it suck less that Mindy's tire was perfectly flat laying limply on the pavement.

Fortunately, I thought, my family has this affection for these little multi-function car emergency units, so I have one in my trunk always. Sadly, I think that mine stopped holding a charge a long time ago so it's value as an area light, jump starter, and in this case, air compressor plummeted to just close enough to zero to really piss me off. The plan was to just pump the tire up enough to get it the half mile of 35 mph back road from our apartment to Belle Tire where they would no doubt fix it quickly and cheaply and we would be on our way.

The emergency kit not holding a charge really threw a wrench in that plan however, which cause me to default back to my final option. It seemed that I would actually have to break out the comically undersized spare tire from the trunk and get it on the vehicle. Ugh.

Thankfully, the instructions are were pretty good in the owner's manual for the car, and the process itself is pretty straight forward so it wasn't terribly difficult, but I did learn a few things. First, cars are very dirty. I didn't more than touch the valve stem before my hand was filthy with brake dust and general street grime. Secondly, I learned that I should clean my car more (see first lesson). And finally that loosening lugnuts is a tough living.

So after maybe half an hour of toiling in the Springtime sun, I got the doughnut on and Mindy was able to drive it up the road to Belle Tire. Once there, in about forty-five minutes they had me in and out with the old tire repaired and the spare replaced in my trunk. Best of all they did it for absolutely no charge. He said that the entire valve stem was ripped out and that they had replaced it and we were good to go. I asked him what I owed and he just said that I should buy my next set of tires there. And you better believe I will be, and you should too.


  1. Woah, that sucks. :-/ But you did it! AND they changed it for free!! :-D

  2. Great post, Benjamin! I'm glad you wrote about this because as you know, I was also impressed. On my way to the Matt Giraud concert last night, I learned that my grandma's tire went flat and the Belle Tire in Kalamazoo/Portage fixed her tire for free, too! Belle Tire needs an award of some kind.

  3. Funny thing about those emergency kits is that they don't tend to work unless you charge them every so often. When was the last time that you charged it???? It is so old now it probably doesn't hold a charge anymore.

  4. Yeah I don't think it holds a charge, but it requires more testing.