Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Dear Lazyweb, or: Today's vehicular dilemma

After class today, I drove back over to Pat's house and checked the mail, forgetting that he had it placed on hold until he gets back from Southern California. Upon returning to my car, I noticed that it was leaning kinda funny.

Turns out the right rear tire was flat. So, I drove about a mile back to the Chevron station, bought a tire pressure gauge for $1.50, filled it up to 44 psi, and in doing so noticed something weird about that tire:



Notice anything funny this picture? No? Here's another picture of the same tire...



If you look carefully, you'll notice a small band of rough material that goes all the way around the tire. It's not a groove or a gouge, I think: it's more like it's roughly textured.

Here's a good tire by comparison:



If you look at the above picture [of a good tire], you can see that it is totally smooth - there is no rough area on the sidewall. I wiped it down a bit so that you can see it's totally smooth.

So: today's questions are...

1. What's wrong with the tire that went flat?

2. Is it safe to drive the 100 miles back to Costco Issaquah tomorrow, or should I use the spare tire?

3. If the spare tire is a donut, and I'm afraid it might be, is it safe to drive on that for 100 miles?

If it helps any, this is a 1999 VW Passat GLS V6 with ASR but not all wheel drive.

Thanks!

Chris

PS. Here's the view from my desk in the library:



It's pretty damned nice. Wish I'd remembered to take a picture before the sun went down...
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