If you’ve read my blog for the past month or so, you know I have this irrational fear of something happening with our car tires while Sam is gone.
If you’ve read my blog for the past 6ish years you know this isn’t something new. I’ve been worried about flat tires forever, having had my first one as a blowout on the highway in Southern California where I had to navigate through traffic to get to the side of the road and call Sam bawling because now what?! and then almost consistently having one a year since then.
Then when he was gone to school for the Army, I had another. In the winter. With a 1-year-old. Living in a third story apartment and having only one vehicle.
We had one as soon as we moved here the next year.
Almost one on my old car but the dealership caught it in time.
We also had one just last year, walked out to get to something from the car and there was a flat.
I really seem to have the worst luck with tires.
So before Sam left for his inpatient rehabilitation treatment, he walked outside to load up the car and found – you guessed it – a flat tire.
It wouldn’t have been such a big deal to me (probably only a mediumly-big deal lol) except he was leaving. So that left me with taking care of the tire. I know a bit more than I used to about tires thanks to the Bridgestone Events I’ve been to where they taught us basics and care (like did you know the amount of tire that touches the road when driving is the size of your hand?) but still it made me super uncomfortable. I always tell Sam he has to do this stuff because I get treated so differently. I won’t launch into a whole deal here, but most of you will get that. He has seen it happen and it baffles him.
So after putting it off close to a week, I finally had to take the car in. I got the tire fixed instead of replaced, but they mentioned I was going to need new tires soon. I was planning on driving to Colorado with that car in a few weeks but was told I had probably a year to go until replacement.
This is where things get pretty amazing. Bridgestone saw my IG posts and read my blog, and reached out to ask if they could set me up with all new tires – the DriveGuard kind where you can go 50 miles at 50mph on a total flat tire. I’d tested them out in Austin and Nashville in October, and loved how you couldn’t even tell there was a flat (which means to have them installed your car needs a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on it). I came home from Austin wanting them on our Honda Minivan but they didn’t have that design ready yet. They do now, and they have them for my CR-V, so of course, I was like, “UM YES.”
I went in right before the girls and I headed to Colorado to get the new tires put on. The Firestone rep was so helpful, showing me what they’d do and calling me with updates. When they were done, I was able to go back into the work area and see my old tires.
The ones I was going to drive to Colorado (1500 miles round trip) with.
The ones I thought would be good for another year.
My alignment was way off (which they fixed) so it wore my tires unevenly. The edges of three of them (the fourth was one that had been replaced last year when I had a flat) were down to 2/32 and that meant the tires needed to be replaced. This was hard to tell because the other side of them without the wear seemed ok.
The mechanic who was showing me this looked up and said, “And where were you going on these again?” I told him to Colorado with my girls and he shook his head. “You wouldn’t have made it halfway there before the tire blew out,” he bent the crack in the tire to show me how deep it went, “or because of the tread on these.”
I had no idea. None. I’ve taken my car faithfully to the dealership and to have the tires done and I hadn’t known they were this bad. Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt to Bridgestone right then.
So off we went to Colorado, where the tires did great and my battery died completely, wouldn’t jump, and we ended up having to replace it because it was so corroded and had spilled fluid all over.
You guys. I laughed so hard in the middle of sitting in the car attempting to jump it for the fourth time from my mom’s car because, I mean, of course, lol. But it was an easy fix so all’s well that ends well.
We drove in snow, down a mountain pass with black ice, in the rain, and in terrible wind but the tires held up no matter what. And it reminded me of how much time and effort I put into purchasing car seats for the girls, only many of us never consider how tires control how a car drives, maneuvers, stops and makes our ride bumpy or smooth. It’s only through Bridgestone I’ve learned what tires can really do, and how dangerous it is to not have any idea about where they are in their lifespan.
Check and see if your vehicle is able to have the DriveGuard tires on them because they provide so much peace of mind if you’re hauling kids (heck, just for you alone you should get them). Thank you Bridgestone and Firestone for partnering with me on this – you guys not only have wonderful products but an excellent company and staff as well (and I say that with firsthand knowledge).