Friday, December 12, 2008

Strange Tire Deflation

I was about to leave my on-site work, when I notice the right rear tire is completely flat. Damn! First, getting the tire cover of the spare was a problem in the cold weather, but some hot water soften the material and I was able able to remove it. Removing the flat tire was a bigger problem. I've never seen such stubborn wheels nuts. All the usual tricks did not work: WD-40, metal tube to extend the tire wrench, using jack to apply force on the tire wrench. After an exhausting hour in the cold, I had to give up and call CAA. The service man had an compressor and an air wrench so he had the job done in under five minutes.

Now here's the strange part. The CAA service man re-inflates the tire after removing it, and it holds pressure! There's no obvious leak. I had that tire repaired just a week ago, so I took it back to same shop for inspection. I don't believe the techniques that the tire shop's use, are prone to failure, but just in case... Guess what, they couldn't any leaks, not even a tiny one! It would require a severe leak for the tire to completely deflate in about 16 hours, so what happened?

The theory of the tire shop's manager is that the problem was low temperatures and different rates of contraction between the tire and alloy wheel. It's plausible, but it is strange that it has never happened before? My theory is vandalism. But it takes many minutes to completely deflate a tire via the valve. Would someone sit in the freezing cold just for a prank?

It is a mystery.

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