I consider myself to be a “car guy”. I love cars and everything about them, but when it comes to their mechanics and repairing them, I’m a total noob. We here at The Daily Derbi encourage everyone to take a crack at their own car in order to reduce costs and to learn more about engine basics. Following that mantra, I went about installing coilovers on my beloved MK4 GTI. After a full day of cussing and bleeding, I succeeded in getting it properly low. Not as low as we’ve seen some VW’s, but just where I wanted it.
A day and a half later I learned a valuable lesson: CHECK YOUR LUG NUTS! Put a few miles on the car and go back and retighten them all. As you can guess from the picture above, I didn’t do this soon enough.
While on the way to a business meeting at a favorite golf course, I noticed a slight noise coming from the front of my car and thought “I’ll have to check it out when I get there”. Less than half a second later my tire flew off and I was sliding on the rotor and frame. As I came to a metal grinding stop I watched in horror as my tire shot across oncoming traffic, luckily hitting no one, heading straight for a parked Passat. The god’s of automotive insurance luck smiled upon me that day as the tire hit a curb first and launched over the Passat landing “safely” in the front yard lodging itself in a tree.
The real story here is the amazing amount of help from total strangers. Before I even turned my car off there were fellow motorists by my side to offer a hand. One even had a 4 ton floor jack handy! Utah really is the best place to break down. Long story short, if I had checked my lug nuts sooner, none of this would have happened. Lesson learned.