Dear PoP – PSA: “Always Check Your Car, my tire fell off”

“Dear PoP,

I just wanted to give your car-owning readers a heads up, a kind of
“always check your car” kind of PSA.

Today, after driving about two miles and making a turn onto Rhode
Island Ave — my tire fell off. It was a near-death grinding halt,
but I managed to end at the side of the road without getting hit. Upon
further inspection, I discovered that I hadn’t hit the median or
broken an axle, it was just that the lug nuts were missing. Gone. Had
I decided to not run errands before heading off to Virgina today, I
would probably have died on the 395.

I used some of the other lug nuts on other tires to get me mobile
again and, upon returning home, I discovered all 5 missing lug nuts on
the ground where I’d previously parked. Most likely, something spooked
the person who was planning on jacking my entire tire and he’d left
mid-theft. I realize some people have locking nuts and nicer cars, but
those of you who drive older cars with those crappy plastic hub caps
(that are often broken/missing like a few of mine are) — always
check your vehicle before you drive it. Just because the tire or
something doesn’t look amiss, doesn’t mean your car is just as you
left it.”

13 Comment

  • Holy shit. Glad you’re ok.

  • ah

    Yeah, but if you have a crappy car why is someone trying to jack the wheels?

    • Because different car manufacturers/models have different bolt patterns. A thief may ‘need’/want a wheel for their car and aren’t going for bling, just something that works.

  • where were you parked?

  • I had a 19 year old Honda Civic I got rid of about 2 months ago. My car salesman said I did not need to worry as my new car did not have aluminum wheels – the target of wheel thieves. For about $60 I decided to get locking wheel nuts anyway……..having seen a picture like this on POP a few months before. I’m glad I did.

  • “the 395” ?
    Go back to California.

  • Some things don’t change; had same experience with my car 25 years ago when parked at 15th and V St NW. The hazzle was it was evening and had to go to suburbs to get replacments

  • A few years ago I had the tire stolen right off my car – but they left the lug nuts behind. Guess they had a flat they really needed to fix.

  • Mac’s Tires 423 Florida Ave. NE – it is always open – always as in 24 hours 365 days a year. Completely saved my beach trip a couple of years ago at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.

  • Wow, best PSA ever. Glad that you’re all right.

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