I (almost) run into a colleague as I'm pulling out of a parking lot. "Whoa!" he shouts. "Your tire!"
Apparently, it's the belt. Even I can see that the tire looks like it's wearing a gauze bandage, although if that's a belt, call a style doctor!
Belt or bandage, this is really bad news. Within a week after replacing tires on my previous two cars, they passed into Auto Heaven. They died of different causes, too sad and too fresh to write about right now, but they were both completely and irrevocably dead.
"You can't drive on the highway like that," my Harbinger of Doom warns me. He advises me to go to Costco, where they'll put on a new tire and rotate it --isn't that what one does when one drives one's car???-- for a good price.
The price is very good for Costco, but it ain't that great for me. I don't think my car is worth $108 at this point, especially since it's likely to join its predecessors before it rotates its belt too much.
Do I really need a shiny, new tire? I think not.
I head over to a shop that features retired tires. A fellow pops one on within about 15 minutes. I don't think he rotates or balances, but a smooth ride would be an alien experience and with the potholed roads I regularly travel, it probably wouldn't last the short lifetime of my car. I think that my car IS probably worth $30.00.