I got a flat tire today in the parking lot. It was because of the big nail bite deeply into my tire thread. Fortunately, I felt something went wrong while I am walking to my car and immediately found out that it was because of the tire was flat. And I know how to switch on my spare tire and drive to the closest Costco (where I bought my Michelin tires) and had it fixed right away for $0. No thing serious happened.
Here are my top 3 lessons learned from this anecdote:
Lesson 1: Beware of the Environment
I could further damage my tire if I didn’t spot the flat tire or even worse I might find myself in a car accident if I drove the car on the highway right outside of the parking lot. Many times the hazards can be avoided if you are aware of the surrounding people and things happening around you.
Lesson 2: Always Be Prepared
I had never have to change a spare tire in my driving career (I guess you can say I am sort of lucky without flat tire after driving cars for nearly 10 years). But I do my due diligence of maintaining the car at car shop regularly. I also go through my owner manual and other online resources for handling when emergency happens. For example, I watched all the videos from this website about the cars I own: http://www.carcarekiosk.com/. So I guess I am prepared for the situation. I know how to get my spare tire replaced even though I didn’t physically do it.
Lesson 3: Costco Is a Good Place
I have been a Costco member since I am a graduate student and made a lot of trips to Costco ever since. I have switched to executive member since my family is growing and we got spend more there. Which BTW is worth the additional $55 membership fee if you spend more than 55/0.02=$2750 in store because you earn 2% cash back for Costco purchase.
For the set of 4 Michelin tires, I got $70 off as they often promote in their store coupon books. With the purchase, I get lifetime tire pressure check, inflation, tire rotation and tire re-balance. I also got road hazard warranty (60 months, down to 2/32 in tread). Basically you got a broken tire due to drive, they will fix it for FREE!! If they can not fix it, they will prorate a credit based on the remaining tread and current tire price.
When you compare the road hazard warranty included in the purchase with other store’s paid warranty or certificate (as Discount Tire calls it), they still seems pretty attractive. For Discount Tire, you might need to pay over $200 for certificate of the four tires (they cover down to 3/32 in tread BTW). For NTB, the road hazard warranty cost about $25, but they will charge again when you actually try to replace the tire.