My wife took our aging 2001 Mazda Protege in to Discount Tires for what should have been a normal visit to get the wheels rotated and balanced. Well, life around here is never that simple. No sooner than she had dropped the car off and told them what was needed than one of the workers came over and wanted to show her something on the wheel. As it turned out there was a huge crack in the wheel (see left) that completely severed one of its five spokes. The employee explained that a) it couldn't be fixed, b) it needed to be replaced immediately, c) we were lucky it didn't come apart while on the highway, putting all of our lives at risk. True enough, I tend to enjoy driving on the highways so it was extremely lucky the wheel didn't explode while "keeping up with traffic" on I-4 or the '417 highway. So for now, we're using our full-size spare until we can get the moolah together to replace the broken wheel. Yikes.