As we exited I-55 near Chicago, driving home from dinner in our Four Seasons 2014 Kia Cadenza, we hit a pothole. But not just any pothole—Mega Pothole. This thing had to be six inches deep, two feet wide, and sheer-edged all the way around.
“Yep, that wrecked at least one of the passenger-side tires,” we said to ourselves. “Are you sure?” asked one of our passengers. Sure enough the car started to lean to the right, and we pulled onto the shoulder immediately. The “low tire pressure” message came on soon after, both passenger-side tires blinking yellow. Crap.
On a very snowy night, too. We called AAA, knowing it’d be a long wait. “About three hours,” they said. We had relatives pick up our passengers before turning on some classic rock and reclining in the Kia Cadenza’s driver’s seat to get a little rest, other cars passing just inches from our door. The flatbed arrived about three hours later and towed us to a nearby Kia dealership. We parked in the back corner of the lot, dropped the keys in the night box, and had a friend take us at home.
We began making calls first thing in the morning, starting with The Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier. We told them that a pothole had destroyed two of the Michelin Alpin PA4 winter tires they’d just sent us a few weeks prior and asked if they had two new tires they could deliver to the Kia dealership. “The tires are here now, and they’ll be at the dealership tomorrow,” they said.
Then we called the dealership. They told us that they’d already pulled the Kia Cadenza into the shop, pulled the ruined tires off of the passenger-side wheels, and checked the wheels for damage. We were sure we’d be paying for two wheels, but the dealership said the only damage had been to the tires. They made our day even better by telling us that they’d only charge us $40 for labor.
The tires arrived early the next day, the dealership mounted them immediately, and we were back on the road in the Kia Cadenza about 36 hours after hitting Mega Pothole.