One thing about Wednesday – and it’s not just Wednesday, it’s every new car, it seems – is the endless binging and bonging and nagging. Sometimes it’s useful (“Uh, Suz…you left the lights on”) and sometimes it’s just annoying (Yes, I realize that my seatbelt isn’t on. Because, you know, I didn’t put it on). And then there’s the autolock feature, snapping all the locks shut as if a horde of carjackers was attacking me as I lurch down the narrow dirt driveway at 5 miles an hour. I have tried to no avail to turn this off, and I can never quite get used to it.
I have also gotten to the point where I am phobic about warning lights on the dashboard, which seem to happen more often than I would like. The other day, the “low tire pressure” light came on, and it took a couple of days before I could get to the tire place. Once there, Rick the tire guy* informed me that the two front tires needed to be replaced. He said that I shouldn’t go out of town or anything, which I found alarming.
As usual when anything alarming happens to the car, I immediately thought of my brother, and on my way home that night, I stopped by his place. He took a look and noted that the tire on the passenger side was more worn than the one on the driver side. He said that if they both looked like the one on the driver’s side, he wouldn’t replace them, but when you do one, you have to do both.
He also said that low tire pressure is the main reason for wear like that (besides, of course, our rough and bumpy roads). I had been relying on the light telling me to get the tires checked rather than taking Wednesday to have Rick check her tires every couple of months as I did with Miss Scarlett. My general automotive ineptitude makes it impossible for me to put air in the tires, let alone read the pressure, and I’d much rather take it to the pros and get it done right and quickly. The problem is I haven’t been doing it enough.
Jonathan said I should just drive more slowly**(!) and replace them within the next month or so, since it’s not winter and I don’t have to worry about rain. He added that it might be worth just doing it now for the peace of mind, though the cost of two new tires is not conducive to peace of mind.
*He also told me that his wife, who used to work behind the counter and do the books, had died of lung cancer at Christmas, which I was very sorry to hear. He said he was working as much as possible to try and keep his mind off it, but he still looked stricken.
**No matter how I try, I am an impatient driver, which is not good, especially during tourist season. Jonathan pointed out that going 10 miles over the speed limit gets me to the Big Town about two minutes sooner and risks a ticket, though he added that when he’s driving long hauls, like between here and LA, it’s worth it, since he gets there about an hour and a half sooner. It’s all relative. Just ask my relative.
A YEAR AGO: Things were sad.