It's been about 16 years since I've had to change a tire for my own car on the side of the road, but did many as a AAA tow driver in college, but today reminded me of a few good lessons. So out of nowhere heading down the highway with wife and kids on way to get haircuts I lose the left rear. I'm glad nobody was in the left lane cause it would have scared them pretty good cause it pulled me to the left a bit before I slowed down and pulled over as quick as I could. I couldn't believe what I saw!
note the strip of rubber dust that fell off the wheel when I stopped. I pulled backward and to the right to get further off the road. nice reflection in photo, too bad it's of a shitty situation.
So I managed to get the jack bolt out and the spare tire down without much effort. This does have 50k miles and 3 New England winters so I thought that was pretty good.
Got the spare on which luckily still had air in it, though a bit low I used my little air compressor in the parking lot of the plaza while they were inside.
After a slower ride home and changing back to stock 20's all around, this was the end result, looks like complete sidewall failure, and pretty unexpected. I have driven on these 3 summers and probably 15k miles without much problem. I did buy them used and this was one of the better pair's tires, so they were in the rear.
So lessons learned. Probably better to just keep my spare in the bed since I don't use it for much else and it can easily be removed for the rare occasion. make sure the spare has air in it always, make sure to keep all proper lug wrenches for aftermarket wheels in the truck, probably a good idea to have flares, I used a red windbreaker about 75 feet up the highway, make sure you test the jack system before you're crossing your fingers on the side of the highway and hoping it works. Probably good to have the compressor in all cars, only $20. expect the unexpected to happen and be prepared for it. This would have been a lot more challenging at night but I probably wouldn't have had my family with me which had me hustling to not get hit. I knew a guy from high school who was changing a tire on the same highway I was on last year and got hit by someone and died, wife and two small kids, so I was going quick. A statie did pull up and had emergency lights on about a hundred feet back for the last few mins. He did remind me to pull the spare hanger string back up that I probably would have forgotten about.