SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Sept2019

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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Rules or Recommendations? Recently, I made a 150-mile trip with Junebug, my Mini Cooper. The route took me over the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and into the high desert that runs from southeast Washington State to northern Arizona. I'd just recently installed brand new run-flat tires, and this was my first long-haul drive on the new shoes. It did not go well. Driving down the interstate just a bit faster than prevailing traffic (in this case, 75–80 mph), I felt every single rut and wrinkle in the road surface. Slowly, and inevitably, as I drove the mountain passes into the interior of Ore- gon, the handling worsened by a lot. When I rolled into my destination city, the steering was uncontrollable. I was convinced that I'd broken the steering rack; my car was all over the road no matter how I steered her. Thank- fully, there was a store nearby for the retail outfit that sold me the tires, so I hobbled my way into their service bay. "That was the most life-threatening ride I've ever had," I confessed to the service manager, "either I blew up my steering rack, or these are absolutely the WRONG tires for my car." The technicians were already pulling the tires and wheels off of Junebug even as I described the issue. Thirty seconds later, a technician waved me over for the root-cause analysis. The driver's rear tire had a seven-inch split in it—not a cut, not a slash, but what looked like a manufac- turing failure. However, the flat run-flat didn't look flat; it looked as normal as the other three tires. The technician said, "Well, sir, there's the problem. We'll get a new one mounted on your car. How long had you been driving on it that way?" I replied, "Oh, I don't know... 150 miles

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