Brand new Nissan Xterra encounters a sharp piece of rebar at a Mexican construction site. Bad news for the Nissan as rebar wins first round puncturing the side wall of the front passenger side tire. Nissan owner takes tire to closest LLANTERA. There are many to choose from, tires suffering a high mortality rate on the roads of Mexico. Owner watches repair process which seems to involve melting rubber with electricity. Tire subsequently holds air. Owner puts repaired tire in vehicle as the spare.
Owner of Nissan and spouse pull into Thoroughbred Nissan dealership (Tuscon, Arizona) and request a new vehicle service check. To save a delay in the drive from Mexico to Canada, the service manager obligingly squeezes said XTerra into his day, even though owner has no appointment. Owner requests a new tire be installed on the front and that existing tire be used as spare and that spare be tossed.
After a leisurely stroll in Tuscon, owner and spouse return to dealership. Young man at counter says spare is just fine. Owner says no, it’s not. Young man, says, but sir, we found nothing at all wrong with the spare. Owner says, you don’t understand. The tire was vulcanized and is not road worthy. Young man, calls service manager (also young) who reconfirms that tire is just fine and assures owner he needn’t spend $300 for new tire. Owner repeats that tire was vulcanized and insists on buying new tire. By now several youngsters, mecanics and such, have gathered. All stare at owner, likely searching for Spock-like ears under baseball cap.
Elderly chap enters service office area. Owner turns to elderly chap and asks, You remember when tires were vulcanized? Elderly chap nods and repeats that tire is useless after vulcanzing. Looks on young men’s faces say, Oh Lord, they’ve beamed down two of them!
Owner and spouse drive away with new tire on Nissan (which manager kindly reduced to $175). What’s vulcanizing? spouse asks. You know says owner. I’m much too young to know about these things, says spouse, but I may have heard my dad use the word once. Ha! says owner.