Posted On: Wednesday - October 3rd 2018 7:31AM MST
In Topics:   Cheap China-made Crap  Humor  Cars
(If your puncture is in the sidewall of the tire, the tire's toast.
This is for simple punctures (nails, screws, big thorns) somewhere among the tread.)
This is NOT EVEN the product that I promised in a post a coupla days back to demean, mentioning that there has not been a post with the Cheap China-made Crap topic key in quite some time. It's not like we don't run into it every week though. I'll post on the other product shorty. I can't keep up with my post ideas on this topic, much less everything else half-written in my head! Geeez!
It was this month's always well-written and enjoyable John Derbyshire "Diary" post (1st segment) that got me remembering this story. I've got the "Humor" topic key here, but I many need another for "Embarrassment" for this one!
It may have been a different brand, but I had almost exactly the same 5 or 10 dollar set you see above on-hand. I should say "on the shelf", as you don't want to wait to buy this repair kit until after you've already got the flat. Then, without a spare vehicle*, you'd have to put the spare tire on first, get to the store, and maybe not even find a good deal on it, as you can ahead of time, when it catches your eye (geee, wonder why it was a good deal?). That's what "being prepared", per Boy Scout motto, is all about. Now, you wouldn't think there'd be a short shelf-life on this tire kit.
Short story long, I had a flat. Yeah, I can make use of this and save both $10 and, more importantly, 1 hour total for the trip and wait at the store. TIME IS MONEY, PEOPLE! I inserted the round-file piece (the right-side one in the pic above) and cleaned the hole out nicely. I got the repair material set up in the other piece and WALLAH!**, the plastic handle broke right off of the metal! (That's the pointy-ended one with the slot on the left.) Dammit!
Things were starting to feel very much like the atmosphere in Peak Stupidity's long-ago post Brilliant plan by Chinese Communist Party Cadres pans out well. Luckily, I DO have more than one extra vehicle, so I could leave the punctured tire alone for the day, and head on to Harbor Freight where they sell extremely tempting, well, Cheap China-made Crap. It's what they do.
The woman cashier asked for my receipt from < 30 days, which I didn't have because the point was: I'll use this kit when I need it. I hopefully won't get a puncture every 30 days. After I said, fairly loudly, in front of everybody, something to the effect of: "I've had this piece of cheap China-made crap on hand for a while, so I could use it when I need it. Just give me another one, so I can fix my damn tire!", a nice young manager came over and told me he'd look up the SKU number and give me another.
The manager comes back. Now he's pissed. "Hey, we don't sell this kit!", like I came in to rip off Harbor Freight, and insult their whole business model while I was there. OK, yeah, "GUILTY of the latter, and NO CONTEST on the former, your Honor." Yeah, I was embarrassed, as I had just guessed I'd gotten this broken tire repair kit from Harbor Freight. They do sucker you in to buying all kinds of stuff! My 2nd guess would have been the auto parts store. Your 1st guess is not ALWAYS correct, contrary to what they tell you in SAT prep class.
Haha, yeah, Auto Zone had sold it to me, they gave me another, and I fixed the tire. Like I said in my old post (linked to above), this may be one very brilliant Chi-Com plan to waste enough American's time to take over without a fight. At the very least, we won't have inflated tires to take us to the front lines.
* Ohhh, got another humorous car story about a brake job. I can't.... keep .... up .....!
** That'd be American for VOILA!