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Project Black #4 — Tired

The last week before school dismissed for the summer, I found my car in the school parking lot with a flat tire from a nail puncture — the nail in plain view for me to see. I called road service and they changed my tire and had the car ready to run a full hour before quitting time.

After work I took the “nailed” tire straight to our local Goodyear Tire Service Center. I asked the guy at the front desk to fix the flat, and told him we’d been having trouble with a slow leak on another tire for a couple of weeks. I said I suspected the valve stem, and asked him to check it out.

When I returned to get my car the young man at the front desk told me that they’d patched my tire, but I shouldn’t expect it to hold. He said, “Your tires are old, bald, and no longer legal. You need to buy new ones.” I said, “These tires are only a year old, and if they’re in that bad of shape, I’ll be returning them to the place that holds their warranty.”

I asked about the second tire. He told me the valve stem was fine, and if I was losing air, I was losing it through the worn tread. He assured me that my life was in jeopardy driving home.

That evening when OC came home, I told him all this tire talk. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with your tires, but next week when you take it in to Mike (at the Chevy dealership) for the oil change, ask him to take a look.

Well, all week I worried about those dang tires. I fussed. I fumed. I put air in the rear tire three more times (it never went flat, just low), then finally came my Thursday appointment with Mike. “Oil change and check the tires,” I said. Then I left.

Twenty minutes later my phone rang, it was Mike. He said, “About your rear tire on the passenger side — no wonder it won’t hold air — did you know it has a big honkin’ nail in it?” I’d picked up nails in both tires, probably at the same time in the same place, but only one tire went flat. I asked Mike if the tire was worth patching. He responded, “Hell, these tires are almost brand new. Yes, patch it.” I told him what the Goodyear Sales guy had said, “See, that’s the thing about commission sales, they make people lie. You come in here, I can talk you into 20 extra things you don’t need, but why? They aren’t gonna pay me any more for it. Never go to commission shops if you want an honest answer.”

* * *

Anna, of Anna Carson’s Photography, hosts Project Black.

And this week, special thanks to Jeremiah of, My World in Pictures, for inspiring this shot.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Oh stories like that make me sooooo mad. I’m glad you didn’t find out the hard way. You know the first guy would have resold your tires to some poor sap. Good shot by the way. Like minds…

  2. Robert — it couldn’t have worked with me. Not only did I buy the tires myself just over a year ago, by dad made sure I knew about basic maintenance before he let me apply for my driver’s license. I can change my own oil, I just prefer not to. Same with tires. (And in the older cars, water pumps, generators, batteries … now that I can afford a mechanic, I don’t have to be one.)

    Karen — I was on my stomach. I didn’t use the view finder for this. It was a guess. And I agree, he wouldn’t have tried it on a man. He was startled by my instant answer.

  3. Now that’s some good advice. Sad that “honesty” hangs on the thread of a pocketbook. Once you’ve found a mechanic you trust, life’s good. (As you know from my recent posts, I’m not much of a mechanic.) Great photos, too!

  4. Glad I could inspire you to take this cool shot! Thanks for the links!

    I’m also glad you weren’t taken in by the guy at Goodyear. I’ve had problems with them in the past that make me avoid them like the plague. I’m “glad” to hear it’s not just the one near me.

  5. Nice shot… the story… those sales techniques are rampant and shouldn’t be allowed. Crooks they are. It’s truly a shame.

  6. Great story and maddening as all get out the way commisioned people treat those they think they can hustle. I”m sure some men don’t know, either.

    Great shot and one that I would never have thought of or attempted. I’m not sure I could have gotten up from the ground.

  7. When I got my very first car, I was backing out of my driveway and hit the curb…and my muffler fell off. *clunk*

    Being that it was a weekend and that I NEEDED the car on Monday to drive to college (orientation week-I was a freshman)…my mom and I drove it over to Pep Boys-the only place open on a Sunday.

    When we picked the car up later that day we discovered that while they replaced the muffler, they put it on backwards…which obviously did nothing. Needless to say, my family was not very happy with that. I had to drive around with the backwards muffler for a few weeks until I had an opportunity to take it to another shop to have the problem fixed.

    I will NEVER go to another Pep Boys or any chain store like that again.

  8. wow, that’s a great shot and a story to go with it. pft to those lying stealing bastards and well done for not listening to that guy.

  9. It is amazing how some people have no ethics and will sell their Grandmother’s Soul to the Devil to make that Commission Sale. Good for you for not giving in and letting this fellow sell you something you didn’t need.

    A Blessed Sunday is Wished for you and OC

  10. what a shame that looking out for a commission can cause a person to be such a liar, it’s worse because he was really trying to scare you!!

    you took a great shot.

  11. As soon as I saw the shot I thought of “From The Ground Up” 🙂

    Great shot! My daughter is quite the questioning one when it comes to cars. Like your Dad, her Daddy taught her well. I’ll never forget being out of town many miles away and she called to say she had changed her own tire!

  12. Tom — until recently I always had a mechanic I could trust in the family. These new fangled cars have pretty much taken care of that.

    Jeremiah — and I went to Goodyear because I thought I could trust the name!

    Doug — 3 year olds aren’t up to such things.

    JC — consumers need to be more vocal about being swindled or cheated.

    Amber — I taught preschool. The ground was where I taught.

    SN — boy can I tell you a doozy of a PEP Boys story! Stay away!

    Juliana — I know my tires. I might not know much else anymore, but looking at the tires is easy!

    Bill — I blame their bosses for not paying them enough to keep them from behaving in desperate ways.

    Dianne — it was the fear that ticked me off the most. A whole week of it!

    Carletta — yay for independent women! The helpless type make me crazy.

  13. Melli — I should have shown the first guy how good my tires were up close and personal like. Maybe if I parked on him, he’d change his opinion.

    Britt — thank you. I won’t be going back to Goodyear, for sure!

    Dr. John — ask.

    Photowannabe — I still have mine. Can’t speak for anybody else.

  14. It seems it is always wise to get a second opinion…I have that feeling with doctors too (tsk, tsk)

    Nice angle of that tire! it seems now things are looking up 🙂

  15. That’s a great shot – did you lie on the black for that? tee hee

    And your car guy is sooo right. You feel like going back to these guys and…. never mind. Brilliant post Quilly.

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