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We bought a mid-size SUV last year from my parents.  This has been a great addition to the ‘family' that has helped us along with Little Boy Beagle and carrying him and all of his stuff around.

The SUV is amazing, it's a 2007 Buick Rainier.  My parents had purchased an extended warranty so the drivetrain and major parts are covered for an obscene amount of time, and this warranty was transferred over to us.

So far, the car has run wonderfully.  Last week, though, we ran into the one problem that can plague any car no matter how great it is or how much ‘protection' you have.

A nail in the tire.

My wife noted that she got an alert to check the tire pressure, but that it went away.  Of course we forgot all about it until the next day when it re-appeared.  This time, I checked it, and sure enough, the rear passenger tire was low.  I filled it up, drove it around a bit, and the next day the message re-appeared.

I knew something had most likely gotten lodged, so I took it to Discount Tire, our favorite place for tire repairs and maintenance.  The tires needed to be rotated anyways, so it would kill two birds with one stone.

They took a look at it and determined that it was indeed a nail that had punctured the tire.  The bad news was that it was in the sidewall, which they cannot repair effectively.  The tire needed to be replaced.

Normally, this is the part of the conversation where they usually recommend replacing at least one more tire or even all of them to get even wear.  There wasn't a whisper of that mentioned.  The car (and tires) has roughly 33,000 miles, so I inquired.

The technician said that we have 70% tire wear left on the other tires, so there would be no need to do anything except with the one.

He then offered, as part of the replacement, to add warranty protection on the new tire.  This is one area that I've always felt is worth the protection, so I agreed.  He then offered to add the other tires onto the plan since they have so much life left.

I thought about it for a few seconds, and agreed to the other three as well.  The charge is $22.50 per tire, so for $90 I got to cover all four tires.  Considering the replacement tire was about $190, this means that just one more incident would pay for itself double.

I've always had this protection on tires that I buy from Discount Tire, and on every car, I've ended up having at least one tire that needs to be replaced.  They cover the tire until it's considered ‘worn' at which point the warranty is expired.  The technicians estimated that we have at least 30,000 miles left on these tires.  I figure this car gets driven somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 miles per year, so this would give us three years of coverage.  For $30 per year, I'm fine with that!

This money all came out of our car repair fund.  This took a small chunk out of it that I will replace over time.  The repair fund covers big ticket items like tires, brakes, and is also there to cover our insurance deductible in the event that we had a car accident where the deductible kicked in.

The $280 total was an unexpected purchase, but having the repair fund made it so I could charge it without even having to give second thought to where the money would come from.  In the end, especially with the warranty coverage, it was money well spent!