Where angels fear to retread

Jeff Shaw looks at the state of Tulsa’s infrastructure, and comes up with a handy metaphor:

I keep this stuff in my trunk called Fix-a-Flat. If I get a flat tire it works just fine, but I know that I’ve got to either go get a new tire, or get the tire repaired soon. A can of that goop costs around $2.00. A repair will cost $30.00. A new tire costs $125.00. If I want to continue to be safe, I’m going to have to spend the new tire money.

But then the macho man in me says “Wait a minute.” Why do I even have to go to the shop in the first place? I can fix a flat. Its been a while, but I’ve plugged a few tires in my day. But the more mature and contemplative me starts to think seriously about the safety of my family, and the responsibility I have to them, about how I need to get it done right.

This is very good, but it omits one semi-crucial detail: when you take the tire in for repair, they’re going to see that you used a can of that two-dollar goop, and they’re going to warn you never to use it again. I don’t know if it’s really bad for the tire, but the guys who work on tires revile the stuff, probably because they have to scrape sticky goop off the inside before they can do a proper fix.

Last flat I had, alas, the implement of destruction got screwed right through the sidewall: not fixable at all.

Disclosure: I have an actual full-sized spare, which apparently is unheard of these days.


  1. Jeffro »

    3 September 2008 · 10:10 am

    I carry an el cheapo 12v air compressor. If the tire won’t hold air at all, then a can of goop isn’t going to work anyways.

    And yeah, it’s the drizzles to get a patch on a tire full of that stuff.

  2. Joe »

    3 September 2008 · 2:50 pm

    I use slime in my tires and it seals pretty good on the go. You add it prior to putting air in the tire and it rides along waiting for a spot to fill. As far as the fix-a-flat stuff I was always told it wasn’t the tire that was the issue but the wheel itself being affected by the goo.

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