So Thursday a little after 1PM, I'm headed to the BMW dealer when I heard 'poof, hisss, and rumble.' The low pressure light came on and in 50 yards (47 m), I pulled into a parking lot. Right rear tire inspection revealed what looked like a bite mark to the steel belt and a split halfway through the sidewall.
I was over a mile (~2 km) away from the BMW service center and briefly thought about driving there. After all, the tire was unrepairable BUT I didn't want to risk the wheel which could be very expensive to fix.
Sad to say, I'd left my cell phone back home but 'Connected drive' worked perfectly and I called for help. They transferred me to roadside assistance whose automated phone system said "Press 1 to ..." There is no keypad in the car!
On the second call, I pointed out I don't have a cell phone,'Could they call me?' No and once again in the "Press 1 to ..." <GERRRRR>
On my third call, I asked the representative to do a three-way with roadside assistance and do the keypad entries since I didn't have one. That worked fine and after confirming the address, nothing to do but listen to the radio and wait for the tow truck,'It will be about an hour as the truck is on another call.'
Temperatures were 90F (32C) and exposed to the sun. Still, the A/C worked fine and we have a good public radio station. But after two hours, I called them back,"Oh he will be there in 12 minutes." After three hours, I was thinking about hailing a cab. I had moved the car to a shady spot in the parking lot.
Before I could get a cab, the tow truck arrived and he got me and the car to the BMW service center at 4:30 PM. To keep the car in "N", I did the 'sit on the seat belt' trick and there was no problem. Happily the service writer took pity and told the supervisor this was an emergency. So they replaced the tire, $233, tire, labor, tax, and fees and I was on the way home.
When I got home hours late, I showed my wife the bill. She was outraged at the cost and said,"We should sue!" I pointed out the root cause was some debris on the roadway that took a bite out of the tire.
- Don't leave home w/o cell phone. There is no numeric keypad that I could find.
- Road-side assistance is 'optimistic' in their time estimates.
- Beginning an eBay search for a front wheel for a spare tire.
- Decide what kind of jack I will carry.
- Show the receipt but not the amount to the wife.