by Sara S
I posted about cars last week, and cars are still on my mind. And that’s because my husband got a flat tire on his Mazda 3 this week. On his birthday. And it led to him throwing out his back. And then it led to us buying new tires. All four.
I was making a birthday dinner for him when he called to say he was on his way home. Just a little later he called again. He was laughing, but a little too hysterically to be normal. I knew something was up immediately. He said, “You’ll never believe what I’m doing right now…”
Flat on the Pavement
He explained—between crazy laughs—that he had started driving and realized he had a flat tire. He pulled over in a parking lot, investigated, and saw he needed to put on the spare. He unloads everything and sees that Mazda has given him the smallest tire iron in the world, and when he tries to loosen the very-tight lug nuts, he hears a pop in his back.
And then he is DOWN. Like laying down flat on the pavement. He can’t move at first. He just lays there for a few minutes flat on his back in this shopping center. Then he finds he can move around a little. That’s when he calls me.
I say, “Oh no! I’m on my way then.”
Just then, a lady stops to check on this man laying in the parking lot. I hear him say, “Oh, it’s okay. I’m okay.” Liar.
He tells me he really thinks he can finish the job, but the lug nuts are still really tight. Someone yells from across the parking lot, “STAND ON IT!” Which he does, and it works like a charm.
So he spent that evening eating cake and ice cream while on ice and heat and Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I guess the universe thought it’d be funny to remind him he really is getting older.
The Cost of Four New Tires
He tried to have the tire patched at Les Schwab, but they said it was beyond repair. In fact, the other three tires were wearing so much that we decided it was time to replace all four.
I couldn’t believe it! His car is a 2016 that we bought used three years ago. He mostly drives it 20 minutes to and from work. I guess I wasn’t prepared for them to bald so quickly.
The quote for buying new tires at Les Schawb was $422. He got quotes from Costco and a dealership, and they were both significantly higher. So we had all four replaced and the car is back to normal. (His back, on the other hand… we’re still working on that.)
We paid for the new tires out of our emergency fund, which is what we do with most major car repairs. We really don’t have a category saved up in our budget for car maintenance and repair beyond gas and oil changes.
How do you handle care maintenance with your budgets?