Getting the Winter Tires out…

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the onset of winter is often a sudden thing. You’re driving around with the top down, your hair blowing in the wind, and then bam – it’s 40 degrees and raining. Or worse, snow. Getting caught with your pants down, or in this case, your summer tires on, can be something between annoying and dangerous.

Zooming up the hill in Pam’s X1 with the 20s still mounted was skittish, even with all the driving nannies engaged. For giggles, I did another lap around the block with everything off and just about piled into my neighbor’s Miata parked on the street. As it was, his two boxers in the front yard sensed impending doom and started barking at me.

The sun peeked out to torment me, and I stood there in the driveway, staring. Have fun, put the top down on Gumby (our Laguna Green E30 convertible) and go for a joy ride, or be responsible and change tires? Being an adult can really suck sometimes. A quick buzz out to storage to pick up the winter tires, and I was on a roll – it was pit crew time, but to no avail. I had every wheel lock in the garage except the one for the X1. And where do you think I put said wheel lock? In the console of the i3, which is usually in the driveway. Today though, it’s out in my pal Roy’s barn because I’ve been doing some work on Gumby.

By now, it was raining, so topless motoring was out of the question. One more round trip to snag the wheel lock, and Roy was rather amused, but we’re aging at the same rate and suspect to the same feats of disorganization. Twenty years ago, we would have teased each other mercilessly, now we just nod.

Back home, the second wave of sunshine has me revisiting the same question, but common sense wins out. Still, the wrong wheel lock. Ugh. Feeling sorry for me, Pam whips up a quick lunch, and where’s the wheel lock? Buried at the bottom of my toolbox. Which leads me to label them all. I won’t do this again. Honest. And, don’t forget the emergency Pop Tarts.

Fortunately, before I put the winter tires away in late April, I spent an hour to clean them up. It’s so nice to throw clean tires in the X1. I can hear my Grandfather’s words at the back of my head, “do it right…”

An hour later, the tires are swapped, and the summer wheels/tires are thoroughly cleaned and dried, thanks to my new Big Boi dryer, courtesy of Esoteric Car Care. (and Pam, she surprised me with it..)

We’ve got a full review of this coming up, but trust me, you need one of these.

I fear the leaves no more.