Llanteras (yanTERa) are little stops along the highway, street, wherever.. that you can pull into to get your tire patched up. The word LLANTERA doesnâ€™t exist in any dictionary Iâ€™ve looked through (Iâ€™m lying.. I found it in one dictionary, but it meant â€śwhining and cryingâ€ť or some crapâ€¦.in Argentina). LLANTA means “wheel”, orÂ â€śrimâ€ť, but in most of Latin America it also means â€śtireâ€ť. Yep, thatâ€™s a bit lame, but now that you know, if it still gives you trouble in the future, wellâ€¦ I donâ€™t know what to tell youâ€¦
If these grimy, rather shady looking luxuries exist in the U.S. I wouldnâ€™t have a clue as to where. You donâ€™t see them so much in the center of town, but around the outskirts theyâ€™re everywhere, many open 24 hours where tractor-trailer transit is heavy. Most will sell used tires, others new and used tires, but their most useful function is that they will quickly patch you up for a very low price. Have you ever taken the car into Goodyear, Firestone, or Walmart.. or the freakinâ€™ dealership, waited two, three hours just to get your tire fixed, and then paid 30, 40 bucks for itâ€¦? Missed work in the process, not to mention suckering yourself into hitting the McDonalds across the street? Thereâ€™s another six to fifteen dollars you could have saved. It is true, yes, that there are plenty who are smart enough just to leave the tire, but you still have to go back for it. On the contrary, in most of these llanteras here you will wait 10 to 15 minutes, if that, and pay a total of maybe 30 pesos (about $2.25). Yeah, thatâ€™s two dollars and 25 cents. Maybe a bit more.. not possibly much lessâ€¦ youâ€™ll still have enough to pop into 7-11 and get a jalapeĂ±o hotdog.. or even an apple… whatever.Â Some people like fruit.
Donâ€™t get that hamburger hotdog, thoughâ€¦ if someone ever got a photo of you shoving that crusty old dropping into your snapper youâ€™d never live it down.
But I do appreciate the llanterasâ€¦ Of course, theyâ€™re not little magical fairies that come to the rescue when you end up flat out on the road.. you should carry a spare, and you should know how to change the tireâ€¦ but after youâ€™re movinâ€™ again, donâ€™t let the ugly appearance of these places or the guys that work there keep you from getting your spare back. Most of them are not as creepy as they lookâ€¦ well, many of them are not like that. A tire with a slow leak that you have to air up again every three or four days is hardly worth leaving the car at Walmart for an entire day, but thereâ€™s no sense hesitating when you can stop into a llantera.