California DOT/DOM, My car thanks you!
Category: Blog

So I guess maybe I should start at the beginning. Beginnings are good and all, right? Well, this evening I was lucky enough to get luxury suite tickets to the San Francisco Giants baseball game. I also happened to get enough tickets for a couple of my friends/coworkers to go (and two of them got tickets of their own from the same source, so they brought more people). All is going well, Dan/Tenni/Addy are carpooling with me into the city in the YodelMobile with it’s recently retrofitted musical yodeling horn when…


I hit a large lip in the road (road construction caused uneven road height) near the 101/280 split in San Francisco. It was a loud hit, so being nervous I quickly find an exit and assess the damage. Checking everything out, almost everything seems ok but the tires (thankfully I guess, could have been worse). The driver side tire has a pronounced knot in the side wall, the passenger side has a less pronounced one, but still noticeable. So, now I have two tires with broken side walls. Not sure what to do at this point, I call my dear father who thankfully knows a bit more about cars than me. After discussing the situation with him, he suggests I put the spare tire on the driver side, but says I could probably drive on it as long as it didn’t get worse (being very cautious in doing so). Since we weren’t far from the stadium, I decided to go ahead and drive to the stadium and change it there if it got worse (maybe not the smartest choice, but it proved to be ok).

As it turns out, it made it there without any sign of worsening, so we went in to enjoy the game (photos to come). Coming back to the car after the game, the tire still seemed to be no worse off, so instead of changing the tire we decided to proceed ahead home and stop periodically to check on it. After pissing off almost every driver on the 101 doing 45mph, we decided to stop and check again. Unfortunately it had gotten worse at this point and the knot on the driver side had gotten a bit bigger than a fist. Fearing the worse, I said we should go ahead and put the spare tire on and everyone agreed with me. So, we then proceed to start unpacking everything from the trunk and pull out the spare. I start working on getting out the jack while Dan goes to loosen the lug nuts.

That’s when we learn of problem #2 of the night. Unfortunately in my infinite amounts of intelligence </sarcasm>, I didn’t leave the lug nut key inside the car (it was at home). So despite having a strong desire to get home (it was getting rather late), unfortunately it wasn’t possible to change the tire. Faced with two options at this point, one to drive slowly on surface roads and check more frequently, or two to wait on AAA (unknown how long that would be), we decided to take El Camino home at a blisteringly fast pace of 25mph. Thankfully we offended far less drivers that route and were able to get everyone to their destinations. I finally made it home about 30 minutes ago (aka 12:30am roughly).

Arriving home I found the knot had grown to cover the entire area from tread to the rim (and about 3-4 inches wide). The tire is starting to separate from the rim, so AAA will probably be hearing from me tomorrow to take my car somewhere. Depends how ambitious I feel about changing to the spare myself (I do pay them yearly for the benefit of towing among other things after all). I guess the bright side as one coworker fondly pointed out after hearing the story over IM, I can now see if anyone sells purple walled tires (as opposed to white walls). Surprisingly I had just enough humor left in me to let out a good chuckle to that. Thanks Mark!

So now I am off to sleep to have sweet dreams of tire blowouts I barely avoided (again, </sarcasm>) and how much I love the California Department of Transportation (DOT) / Division of Maintenance (DOM).

One Response to “California DOT/DOM, My car thanks you!”

  1. Jeannine says:

    Oh boy were you every lucky! I had a semi tire do the same thing starting out with a bubble on the sidewall. The further I went the bigger it got. Watching it in the side view mirror I watched it grow little by little. Then stopping to check it out I no more than got to the tire when the bubble swelled all the way around the rim as I watched. The light bulb came on instantly in my brain just as I was stepping back away from it the bubble made a full lap around the rim and Exploded that hot tire. Scarred me! LOL~ Lesson of the day: Don’t mess with faulty tires, a blow out in a high traffic area could send you swerving out of control and into head on traffic or a nice deep bar ditch…. It’s not worth risking your life.
    Be safe & Be Cool!
    Jeannine aka Ugly Duckling, a long haul truck driver for 31 years

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