by Pete Codella:
Last month as we were driving home from a wedding reception in Heber City, Utah, our front tires started making a strange noise. We have had tire air pressure issues (thanks to the stainless steel rims Lexus brilliantly selected for our car), so I stopped at a gas station in Kimball Junction to add some air to both front tires.
We got back on the freeway headed to Salt Lake City but the noise persisted and even got worse. I slowed down, sped up, changed lanes, and we kept hearing this thud-thud, thud-thud, in rhythm to the rotation of the tires.
We pulled off at Kimball Junction to ask at the Phillips 66 if there were any auto repair shops open at that hour. It was late and we were out of luck. But there was, we were told, a Burt Brothers Tire shop just a half-mile or so up the road.
As my wife and I discussed what to do on that cold, dark, rainy Park City night, we both felt we should not drive the car down the mountain to Salt Lake City.
So we called her dad to ask his opinion and if he could come pick us up. He agreed that if we felt like we shouldn’t drive the car, we should park it and deal with whatever the issue was later.
We drove slowly – thud-thud, thud-thud – down the freeway feeder road till we found the strip mall with the tire shop. We parked the car and left the keys in the drop slot with a note about what had happened for when the shop opened Monday morning.
When I got the call from the guy at Burt Brothers Monday morning, he said, “It’s a good thing you didn’t try driving down the mountain because all the lug nuts on your front left tire were more than halfway unscrewed.”
At that moment I was so grateful that our family’s near daily prayers for health and safety were answered in a major way. A disconnected tire going 70 MPH down a steep, wet, windy canyon road could have been a life changing or even life-ending scenario.
The situation was apparently caused by some tire and brake work we had completed on the car just a couple weeks earlier, and the shop forgot to machine tighten the nuts on that particular tire.
As we talked about it later, we were very much aware of the dangerous situation we avoided because we heeded the Spirit.
Many times in our lives we don’t realize what we avoid as a result of receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and following His promptings.
For us, in this instance, what was a frustration and inconvenience could have been so much worse.
Pete Codella: I've lived in New York, Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. I've traveled to four continents, shopped in Fez, parasailed in Tunisia, eaten caviar in Moscow and would love to visit my namesake and great-grandfather's stomping grounds in Italy. I was married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple four years after graduating from BYU, so you could argue at one point I was a ‘menace to the community.’ I'm a former singing gondolier at The Venetian in Las Vegas and BYU Young Ambassador. I work in digital public relations and travel to consult and speak about corporate communications and social media. I graduated in 2013 from the University of Utah's Executive MBA program. My awesome wife and I have two great kids, currently twelve and eight and full of life. Twitter: @codella.
Image credit: Brooke Raymond, modified by Scott Heffernan (used with permission).