Blown tire on the 520 bridge


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Yesterday I was driving from Bellevue to Seattle over the 520 bridge when my tire blew. Just as I was entering the bridge i heard a small pop, but figured it was a bump in the road or something…. about about a 1/3 of the way across, the car felt sluggish, and by 1/2 way across, the whole car was shaking and making the “dut-dut-dut-dut” sound…. very bad. I’ve always seen drivers get stuck on the bridge (2 lanes in each direction) and I always thought… “why do they always get stuck ON the bridge versus before or after?” Well here was my chance to be that guy, not good. I dropped my speed down to 20 mph and flipped on my hazzards. That’s when i started mumbling to myself, “please get across…. please just make it across”. The tire was already flapping and i was hoping it wouldn’t totally come apart and leave me riding on my rims. That would create sparks, a potential fire hazard and ruin my rims at the same time. I finally get to the other side, pull off on the wide shoulder-grassy area and assess the damage. Just as I thought….. tire shreaded, but luckily still attached to the rim. Like a Nascar pit-crew, I rolled out the full-size spare, took off the sheaded tire and popped the new one on. In and out in about 12 minutes…. not the typical 14 seconds of Nascar, but pretty good nonetheless.

The interesting note is that this is the 4th tire I’ve changed on my car since I moved to Seattle in Sept ‘03. That’s 4 tires over 27 months!!!! Da’hell? I think BMW should get stronger tires or maybe I should get better low-profile tires, since these are too susceptible to getting blown. I’m just glad I didn’t have to stop on the bridge…. phew.

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