Wednesday, January 10, 2024

New Tires, New Battery, Old Size, Welcome to WalMart. At 7 AM. UGH.

"People of Walmart", this stuff really does happen.

A couple weeks back, last year at this point, the battery in my Jeep failed. 

Mind you, it's a 21 year old car, having a bad battery is kind of expected.

Did some shopping. 

Sears is dead.  Their Board allowed the company to be gutted, and the store here is gone.  I'd just drive up, buy one, have it installed.  It was incredibly convenient.  Now the grand Searstown in Fort Lauderdale is being eaten away by heavy machinery and going to become a reef, or so I had heard.

It was the same way with tires.  Order them, they get delivered.  Install them, enjoy them.  I had Cooper Tires on the Jeep for about a decade. 

In the meantime, there went Sears.  There went the tires as well.  They are about 10 years old and have been degrading, internally.   I guess they're not meant to be used quite THAT long.  Until I get to about 25mph, it was a horrible ride.  Very rough.  The tread is beginning to show wear which is difficult on an offroad tire.  The tires themselves were an upgrade from "stock" by two sizes.  Not enough to require me to "lift" the car, just enough to put the speedometer into actual accurate reading. 

I had gotten a screw in the tire and threw my hands up and said it is time.  After removing the screw head with a tool and leaving the body in the tire as a plug I shopped for identical tires.

Oh I had found them at Walmart.  As a rule, I don't particularly like the place.  I was sitting out back waiting for the battery to be delivered to me at pickup and listening to the Creatures there and their "music".

Every fifth word was "BITCH" on one track.  Not exactly my idea of music.  It was hers and she did break a nail sitting there annoying everyone around me.

The workers were awesome, delivered the battery to the back of my friend's car, and we left.  I installed the thing in the car in my driveway.

Back to finding tires.  I ordered exactly what I had over 10 years ago.  31x10.5R15.  


They got to the store.  After an hour of wandering the bowels of this place that I was thinking that I may be able to get my skates out I got a text and went to talk to someone there.   Apparently their corporate rules are strict.  If you get a good price there and the size is not identical to what your car had on purchase, they will refuse installation.

I showed her where it was literally, identically sized to what I bought. 

Nope.  They won't do it. 
Nope, I can't put them in the car and find installation.  Not on such short notice.  Please reverse all the charges. 

They did reverse the charges, and I limped home.

I found some other tires, identical to the size on the sticker on the driver's side door post.  I'm not exactly happy with not having the slightly larger tires.  Oh, I'll get better gas mileage, and I'll be in alignment with what I use the Jeep for here in South Florida - carving a groove to the park to workout.  But it's not what I want. 

They're ... Normal, and they will not handle as well.  The larger Coopers were very much more sure footed than the original 215/75R15.  I have one of the original 21 year old tires on the back of the car as a spare.  I would not trust it either.  It's looking cracked. 

Pro Tip if you are down here driving around:  First, the rules are the same, use your damn turn signals, obey the stop signs and speed limits.  Second, there is a lot of construction in South Florida and you have a higher chance of a puncture than you do Back Home.

But the rules of the same have not changed.  The stop sign still means stop.  The speed limit is still the speed limit.  We will be cursing at you and no you should not drive stupid.

Just stay off the road if you don't understand that.  My new Uniroyals will thank you for that.

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