Write off

This morning the plan was to get doughnuts then drive up to Hurricane Ridge for a short hike. We managed the first part.

Today’s doughnuts were from Sasquatch Donuts, a small, lightly decorated shop where the maple bar was among the best I’ve had. We crossed the street to get coffee, stopped via the bookshop on the way back, and eventually got into the car. We began to drive up to Hurricane Ridge before we realised it was midday and we should feed the girls, and we were just heading back down through Port Angeles when I noticed a warning light on the dashboard, and shortly after that the front passenger tyre had lost all its pressure.

We pulled into a parking lot. The others went to lunch while I called for assistance.

Now, my car comes with free roadside assistance, but that means taking you to the nearest Hyundai dealership. In this case, in Edmonds, which is 70 miles and a ferry trip from Port Angeles. And because of covid, I couldn’t go in the tow truck with the car, so I’d need to wait, then find an Uber that would take me on a hundred plus dollar ride, and get the car back at some point in the distant future. After stressing about this for twenty minutes, I called Hyundai back and asked if they could get the tow truck to take me to a local repair place instead. No such luck.

So I had to cancel that, and pay for my own truck to move the car.

$85 later, the same guy who would have taken me to Edmonds arrived to drive me to the Les Schwab two miles away. He fit most of the stereotypes: three teeth, big beard, tattooed. Unimpressed by my idiocy in driving the car into a curb. Also unimpressed by a car with no spare wheel. He drove me to the Les Schwab, and at least I could correct him that electric cars have as much torque as diesel ones, but he did point out that the world isn’t ready for electric tow trucks yet. Not when there’s just two of them covering the whole of the Olympic Peninsula. (also, apparently my car isn’t designed with any secure points to strap it down on the bed of a tow truck. Hyundai send their apologies )

At the Les Schwab, I got to sit and wait for a couple of hours until they could see to me, and I grew more and more stressed. Finally they got to look at the car, and then asked me where the keys for the wheel nuts were.

When I bought the car, as a free upgrade they gave me lockable wheel nuts, but at the time I assumed they’d given them to me as something to fit, and not that what they’d actually done, which was to fit them and give me the keys. So the keys were at home in our porch, and the wheel with the flat tyre was stuck on the car. Perhaps they took pity on me at that point and told me they had a way to get it off, although it would scuff the wheel a bit. No matter to me. I just had visions of the repair bill growing ever larger.

Finally, four hours after this all began, they called me over to pay the bill.


The tyre was repairable and they did that for free, and the only cost was for a new wheel nut, and they didn’t even charge me for labour. I was speechless at this, having expected to be wallopped with a huge fee. Will go back tomorrow to thank them. Mentally broken, I drove back to the AirBnB to meet my children and wife, who’d spent the whole day without me, trying to stay sane.

Tomorrow, we try for Hurricane Ridge again…

2 responses to “Write off”

  1. I hit a kerb in the hire car last week, I thought that was going to be a puncture and hassle but I think I got away with it. Sorry you didn’t have better luck.

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