Dearest Opponauts,

I've been a long time lurker and occasional commenter on Oppo. Some of my comments have been gems, while others expressing my n00b status in the simplest possible way. Thank you for your kindness and continued inspiration.

This is not what I imagined as my first post on Oppo. I was seeking inspiration to write you all a masterpiece. I wanted to pen a tumultuous, exciting, emotional journey that would be as pleasing as a perfect apex on an empty winding country road on a summer day.

Although certainly not as epic a tale as I had planned, only my fellow Opponauts could enjoy the tale of my latest adventure with my beloved '13 C250. This car, while perhaps not the most Jalop of automobiles, is and will always be my first love and first true exposure to racing, auto care, and the deep connection between man and machine.

Living in a small town in the Northeast has always been a blessing. Lots of country roads with little police presence, no traffic, and a low cost of living. But the weather is just awful. Cold weather, freezing rain, and snow that swiftly turns to sunny skies and warm weathers in a week. This, of course, leads to potholes galore. My town should have a museum for some of our larger potholes. They are like craters.

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On Friday, I was heading downtown with some friends to celebrate a birthday. We were already a bit late to meet the rest of our party at the bar, so I took a shortcut. The street was dimly lit, there was oncoming traffic and a car behind me, when I hit the series of potholes at 20mph.

My TPMS immediately alerted me that I had lost pressure in front passenger side tire. I pulled over to realise the sidewall in my tire had blown. To be honest (another newb comment), I've only ever changed one other tire. I had no idea how to work my jack and was scared that I would ruin something more serious.

I have to give Mercedes credit. Immediately after observing my tire blowout, I called MBRACE and was on the phone with a representative in 30 seconds. She knew my exact address and sent someone over to my location in under 40 minutes. While I waited I got the equipment out, and made sure to have the spare ready. The spare was nicely stowed away with the equipment, and Mercedes even included a very nice pair of white gloves in the kit. Their game was on point.

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The worst part is that my tire, a great set of Michelin Alpin PA4s, are terribly difficult to find in my rim size. Although I'm lucky the rim was okay, I'll have to wait until Tuesday to get a replacement. Until then I'm driving on the spare and can't go over 50mph. My inner speed demon wants to kill me.

It seems a lot of you, my fellow Oppos, have been having similar pothole troubles. I stand with you in solidarity.

Yours in auto enthusiasm and hooniganism,

ssidd47