Since I bought my Town car, I've been leery of the tires. On the car are 3 Michlen Symmetrys, and an XW4, the spare was the 4th Symmetry.
All the Symmetrys had dry rot cracks, not so bad on the tread, but on the sidewall, on a couple of the tires there were almost cracks around the whole tire, basically just above the white wall.
The XW4 didn't have any cracks, and also had more tread... when I took out the spare one time I saw it was oddly worn, which I bet had to do with the bad ball joint on that wheel. Anyway, last month when I got an alignment after replacing ball joints and tie rod ends, I was going to get new tires, but the guy said I have about 10k miles left on these tires... I measured out between 4-6 32nds of tread, so I figured I would get another year left.
Well on my way to FL, I had my music turned up, windows closed and climate control set to 74*. I had the cruise set at 72, and all of a sudden I felt a vibration... at first I thought it was something with the road... nope... road is freshly paved... then I thought the wheel threw a wheel weight... so I turned the music down and slowed down... but I heard the sound of a flat tire...
First time I ever got a flat tire on the road, the first time I ever got a flat tire anywhere was when I tried, and did run over a curb in the Coupe 2 years ago and tore the side wall...
Really it wasn't anything bad at all, I didn't even know what the heck it was until I was stopped too. I was expecting to see a deflated tire and a nail or something sticking out... I was kinda shocked to see the tire though.
So then the fun begins, I hop in the trunk and pull out the spare (which I did service with proper air when I first got the car) and got the jack and lug nut wrench which were in a neat black bag, and appeared to have never once been used... old folks in FL must have had roadside assistance.
So I break the lug nuts free, remembered to turn off the air suspension (I've been really good with that) and start to jack the car up. When I pulled off the road, there wasn't much of a shoulder, and I went about an ince too far, as the edge of the jack was off the pavement an on the grass, but it still looked like it was fine, well I get the wheel just off the ground, and I see the jack, with the weight of the car on it start to shift... not good, so I start to lower the jack... well, I must have got a turn and a half out of the jack handle before the whole car shifted sideways, falling off the jack and pinning the jack between the frame and the pavement, slightly benging the frame of the jack.
Well that stinks, cause I had to room to turn the jack handle at all to get it to collapse, and that was my only jack, I'd have to call AAA or flag somebody down.... but I was thinking... there had to be a way to lift the car a bit so I can get the jack free.
Well, part of the Lincoln air bag suspension is that it levels the car out when off, and when running, it rasies the rear a couple inches for better ride and stuff.... I remembered this, and I fliped the air suspension back on, put the key in the ignition, turned the ignition on and waited a minute... sure enough the car started it raise itself, and I was able to easily get the jack out from under the car. So I went around, got back in the car, fired it up and drove it back onto the shoulder, making sure I was completly off the grass this time.
Rest of the ride was trouble free, when I got to Aimee's I went out to get tires, looked around for best price... I knew the exact tire I wanted. Goodyear Assurance ComforTred. The same exact tire I had on the Coupe 5 weeks before it was stolen... it was an awesome tire and I coudln't wait to get it on the Town Car.
So, Sears actually had them, and matched Tire Kingdom on price. All 4 tires with everything included and road hazzard came to $550... alot cheaper then I paid last year at the Good Year dealer... heh.
Right before I left my house, I saw my Sears card on the counter and wasn't going to take it, but figured I would in case I needed anything... good though tho, cause the tires went on that.
So that Michilen XW4 which was in the best shape with most tred is my new spare, I've got a slick set of new Assurance ComforTreds, and I had an alignment done at Sears a few weeks ago, I asked them to check it, and they did.... my camber was way out, they fixed it... but he dosn't know how it happened... he said it had nothing to do with the new front end components, and I didn't hit anything either... but that is all fixed now.
80k mile tire, there is no tire noise at all, and the car rides really smooth, exactly what I wanted. It is not made for handling, and neither is the car. There is a decent amount of side wall flex and going down the highway and swerving the car sharply feels like all 4 tires are piviting around an axis... but the car responds well in evasive manuvers, but most of all it rides smoother, which is what I wanted. I quickly thought about the TripleTreds, which are more of a touring/sporty tire... because my Town Car does have the handling package, and did handle pretty well... but I'd rather have the quietness, smoothness, traction and tredwear of the ComforTreds again, so I got those.
All in all, I am very happy... wasn't exactly ready for new tires just yet, as the Isuzu needs new tires really soon (probably as soon as these are paid off) but I had to, as I would have had no spare, and the other tires were really in no better shape.
Here are some pictures of the damage... just a cell phone picture... no damge to the car when it fell on the jack except a really tiny chip on the rocker planel plastic trim from part of the jack scraping against it, and the jack is slightly bent, but still works fine.
I can't say I've even seen a passenger car tire go like this... but no doubt due to the cracks, which were dead center of where the whole thing blew out... I wasn't going excessively fast either (72mph) and I keep my tire pressures where the should be often. No loud bang, no jerk of the car, no swerve... just all of a sudden a slight vibration... It probably could have been alot worse.... either way it turned out very well, I always feel very safe in this car.