Daily Archives: February 20, 2011

Audi A5 Cabriolet Low-Profile Tires: A Guaranteed Flat in New Jersey

Low-profile tires + NJ potholes = frequent flat tires

Well, my Audi has another damaged tire; the right front tire “bubbled” instead of flattening this time. Variety. Ain’t it grand?

And I swear I did not hit a pothole of any size. Ask my daughter Tory or the person following me how I’ve begun to drive since the first flat: I swerve to avoid any pothole I see. I quickly glance into the oncoming traffic lane, swerve out and around the craters in the road, then slip back into my lane. I’m waiting to get pulled over by a cop who will  think I’m a drunk driver. Honestly. And if I happen to hit a little indent in the road? I scream, convinced  I damaged one of my dainty delicate tires. It’s hell on my nerves and Tory’s.

This is definitely not as much fun as winning at slots.

As my daughter Tory and I were sitting in stop-and-go traffic on Route 80 headed west on Friday night my dashboard lit up like I’d won at slots. And a mechanical voice declared “All four tires are seriously underinflated and needed attention asap.”


Immediate attention.

On Route 80.

At rush hour.

In stop and go traffic.


I kept driving until we reached the college where Tory and her club softball team practice every Friday night. Tory hopped out of the car and headed in to practice. I pulled out my Audi Care manual and started dialing my phone. Patrick answered this time. A pleasant fellow. I know this because I spent 19 minutes on the phone with him, giving him my VIN number and all my stats, telling him about the tire bubble, debating the merits of what I should do (put the donut on or try to drive on the bubbled tire). Patrick had some definite ideas. I took his advice and ordered up a person to come out and find me in the back parking lot of the gym located on the furthest spit of land from the college’s main entrance. Easier explained than done.

Friday nights in the winter I drive right under these signs into stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

The tire repair person called me after he had circled the campus once and couldn’t find me. I went to find him because he couldn’t find his way past the first stop sign on campus. Once we met (his tow truck’s flashing lights helped) it took him maybe seven minutes to get the tire changed. I appreciated his service, circled back to the gym, picked Tory up and drove 50-55 mph home on Route 80. If you live in New Jersey and you have traveled Route 80 you know that I deserve a medal for driving so slowly and living to tell the tale.

Now? Now I have to buy another tire. Another low-profile tire. Do you know the tires I’m talking about? Do you see those sexy rims, the shiny spinners, the complicated wide rim models, on cars and trucks driving the streets of your town? Many people have retrofit those rims, which require low-profile tires, on their Chevys and Fords. They often come standard/available as an upgrade on Audis, BMWs, Mini Coopers and others. Low-profile tires are an awful waste of money if you live where potholes reign. They have no stamina. They are delicate. They hit a pothole and die. Prior to purchasing my Audi I had two flats in my entire driving career. And now? I’ve had two flats within 15 days.

Prior to purchasing the Audi my husband Mike and I debated the merits of costly repair issues down the road, as in years down the road, but we decided we’d chance those potential issues for the sheer delight in driving a car like the Audi. We had no idea the tires would be an immediate costly issue. If you know Mike personally, you know he’s thrifty; he’s never met a warrantee or extra insurance policy that he’d paid for. So when Audi offered us wheel and tire insurance the “no” was out of Mike’s mouth before Annie, the very nice warrantee and insurance woman, could finish her sentence. Bad decision. Very bad decision.

Quick! Decide: Is this a pothole you can drive through or one to avoid? Quick!

Why? Because you can’t purchase wheel and tire insurance after you take ownership of an Audi. In our ignorance and Mike’s fast “no” world we have learned a very costly lesson, one I want to share with you so you don’t have the same thing happen to you. We were ignorant; you are forewarned. Buy the wheel and tire insurance if you purchase a vehicle with the sexy rims and delicate low-profile tires. Or better yet, don’t buy a vehicle with those tires unless you live in a pothole-free area and/or have a lot of spare time on your hands because you will, mark my words, spend a lot of time waiting for the nice tow truck people to arrive to change your multiple flats out for the donut in your trunk. Oh yeah, make sure you have a donut in your trunk or you will be liable for the tow.

Low-profile tires? They stink in the pothole-filled state of New Jersey.



Filed under Adventures of a Middle Age Mom, Audi A5, flat tire, new car, New Jersey