For the last little while - I can't pinpoint exactly when, but RECENTLY, oh, let say a matter of weeks or so - my car has been exhibiting a disconcerting JUDDER which is particularly bad when I'm driving between 30 - 45 MPH (i.e. built up roads, urban driving, that sort of thing). Bad enough that the last time it happened I tried an experiment and brought my teeth lightly together while I was driving and the judder literally made my teeth chatter.
Well, but we'd been talking about replacing our tires soon anyway, and it MIGHT have been a tire problem - to my uneducated eye the left front one looked a smidge LOW - so today we dropped into a tire shop for them to take a look and kind of let us know what the pros thought about it.
The guy we spoke to did agree that the tires probably needed replacing - and that he would be happy to just get the air in the one that looked iffy up to scratch until we could get around to the actual replacing of things. Just pull up over there where the air is, he said, and someone will check the air for you.
WHich we did.
The young man who came to assist us did the rounds and then came to us and said, folks, it isn't the LEFT front tire that's the problem. It's the RIGHT front tire, and it's a BIG problem. There's a bubble in the tire, and this thing is...kinda sorta... living on borrowed time and pretty much ready to blow.
They couldn't fit us in for a entire tire re-fit today because backlog but apparently that particular one was bad enough for our helper to go back in and "talk to his manager" to see if he could "pull strings" - and eventually ended up replacing that front tire by itself until we could come back next week to have the rest of them done - but this one, this one he felt urgently had to be done NOW. Because the sands were apparently running out on it.
I wasn't right there when he did it, and my husband said that it was just as well that I DIDN'T see the tire that came off the front wheel. Yes, Virginia, there was a BUBBLE. Not a good thing on a car tire. Not a good thing at all.
So. WIth only one of four on right now and the rest pending, we're effectively re-tired.
And you know what? On the way home from the tire shop with the new tire in place - that judder? GONE.
I feel like I dodged a bullet.