I had a rather terrifying experience last Friday; I was on my way down to Woods Hole, chugging along in the left lane, minding my own business when, all of the sudden, something was very amiss. It took but a few moments for me to realize that one of my tires had gone so I made my way to the right side of the road. So, there I was, in the right half of the right lane of I-93S, on a bridge with no shoulder. I popped on my hazards and figured that it was high time to investigate the damage and get my spare on. It wasn't until a few moments after I'd gotten out to investigate that it struck me that I was standing in the middle of the right lane of I-93S with cars within 5-10 feet going by at 70+MPH. The moment that realization struck me i called 911 and climbed through my trunk to sit in the front seat with my seatbelt decidedly on. There I remained, on the edge of a bridge, dead still, on the highway, watching my side view mirror as vehicle after vehicle narrowly missed ramming me off into oblivion. Eventually, after a number of terrifying minutes, days, weeks, eternities, or however long it was, a state trooper arrived and told me to sit in my car and wait for a tow truck. After a few moments of sitting through the same sort of terror that I had endured waiting for his arrival, the trooper decided that he did not want to throw away his life waiting for a tow truck and instructed me to drive, in spite of a completely shredded tire, to the next exit. At a speed of about 5-10MPH, I inched my way off the highway and into a nearby parking lot where the recently arrived tow truck helped me get my spare on safely (hooray for full-sized spares). With my life intact, I was able to proceed onwards and Cape-wards, eventually arriving in Woods Hole.
Displeased that one of my tires had spontaneously given way and plunged me into such a terrifying ordeal, Monday morning, I set out for the Sears Auto Center where I bought the tires less than half a year ago. I wandered in, explained that one of my tires had violently given up on me and that I wanted to get it replaced, which earned me the information that if I had Road Hazard coverage for the tires, it would be a free replacement but, if not, I would, essentially, be S.O.L.. Well, as it turns out, in a move totally uncharacteristic of myself, I had spent the extra $7 per tire to get Road Hazard coverage. Low and behold, an extended warranty was going to save me ~$100, that's almost unheard of; usually you spend $10-$20 for an extended warranty and the thing you buy lasts twice that long and then dies on you. So, I dropped the wheel and shredded tire off (luckily the rim was essentially intact) and made my way to work. I returned to the Sears Auto Center on my way home, picked up the new tire, paid $7 to renew the Road Hazard coverage and was on my way. The service and the savings in this matter alone have pretty much sold me on going to Sears for all of my tire needs in the future; I'll still leave fancier work to my own machinations or less fast-food-esque mechanics, but for tires, Sears has a satisfied customer.