There are many things I have learned in life, the hard way, and I thought I would use my stupid mistakes as examples to help all of you, in this new series I've aptly titled, Life Lessons.
This is the first in the series: Tire Balancing
I think that asking if you want a newly mounted tire "balanced" for an additional cost is some sort of mechanics' practical joke.
I learned this lesson in my early 20s while getting a new tire at a used tired place.
I was wrong. Even though I only had $50 to my name, I REALLY did want to spend that extra money, but I was working under the assumption that tires are actually round by nature. They're not. I think they might be triangular, or hexagonal, but they sure as hell aren't naturally round, which I learned, as my car rocked and wobbled as I drove it away from the shop, fifteen dollars richer, but substantially less comfortable.
I'm surprised they weren't openly laughing at me when I came back a few days later to report there was something wrong with the tire they sold me.
Zed: Well, you said you didn't want it balanced!
Me: Right, because I didn't realize that "balancing" was a secret code word for AN ACTUAL WORKING TIRE!
And then I paid $15 to get my tire made in to a circle.
So here's your lesson:
You want your new tire balanced. It's worth the money. Only an asshole gives you the option to drive away on a triangular tire.