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Just in Time

As in just in time for me to make my 4th payment on the ever-dwindling car debt, careening past the 50% paid off mark (!!!!), The Husband drives over a HUGE pothole. Let me repeat: A HUGE pothole. A freaking sinkhole, which pops my virtually brand new tire, requiring a replacement.

A $197 replacement.

Meet the new tire. Same as the old tire.


Question: What do you do?

Well, first you change your tire, before you drive on the rim and cause further damage. Directly after that, you start the intricate dance of repairing/mitigating costs of this unexpected necessity.

Can the tire be repaired? Answer: No! As confirmed by 2 separate tire retailers.

Is the tire under warranty? Because this is a brand. new. car. for crying out loud. Answer: Also No! Warranties do not cover “road damage”. Zoinkers.

Where can I get it replaced in a jiffy? Answer: Choose the cheaper of the above 2 options, because they both have appointments available at the exact same time.

Is this the end of it? I’ve got a new tire. I can move on with life. $200 poorer. Answer: FALSE!

Instead, I exercised a little persistence via Google, and submitted a damage claim to the City of Seattle, the party responsible for this massive crater in the middle of the street. The damage claim includes my statement, location of the pothole corroborated by their own city map, contact info for witness in the car with us at the time, and the receipt for the replacement tire.

Will this get me anywhere? Answer: Unknown.

Am I being a total cheapskate jerk about this? Answer: Mixed. That pothole was really big, on a narrow surface street, with a low speed limit, which we were obeying. Not easily avoidable, and intense enough to destroy a brand new tire.

I know people sue for pothole damage in NYC, but I’ve no idea if Seattle will pay up. What do you think? What are my odds?

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Can’t hurt


I also just had an unexpected $200+ wheel issue on my VW. Although it’s been a wonderful and reliable car, I think it will be my last VW. Repairs and maintenance cost too much!

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