September 26th, 2003

pinkie pie

Flat tire

Driving into work this morning I took a shortcut I take every morning (for locals: Corkstown Road from Moodie Road to March Road, instead of the 417). About halfway along the road is a level crossing which isn't very level; you can usually take most of Corkstown at 120-130 but you want to slow down to 90-100 for the crossing or you'll bottom out your springs on the other side.

Going over that this morning, I must have gone over hard enough to get a bite in my front left tire, because another quarter mile down the road it was flat.

Luckily I had a good (compact) spare, and it was a cool and cloudy morning, so I got the spare on fine and made my way the rest of the way to work. (I was pleased to see that Saab helpfully includes a pair of work gloves in with the spare and jack. That plus a moving blanket I keep in the car meant that I didn't get the least bit dirty while changing a tire.

But now I need a new tire, and I have questions for those of you who know such things. If the tire isn't repairable (and I don't think it is, I'm pretty sure it's a sidewall bite), the options I seem to have for replacement are:

  • Replace the bad tire with a used tire.
  • Replace the bad tire with a new tire shaved to match the others.
  • Replace both front tires.
  • Replace all four tires.
It's a front-wheel-drive car. Also, if any of you have recommendations for tire shops in the west end of Ottawa, please share.

Edit: One other option that occurred to me: Buy used or cheap or repair for now, then buy snows for winter, then buy a new set of performance tires (I'm running all-seasons now) in the spring.

Another edit: Just went out to take a look at the remaining tires, and there is no question that I'm replacing all four. Four new all-seasons it is, then. Anyone have favorites?

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