Monday, December 16, 2013

A Lucky Escape

So, on Friday LC discovered that her car had a flat tyre, which sucks. And so, early Friday afternoon, I drove out to the school to change the tyre.

This actually proved to be beyond me - although the process itself is both familiar and easy, when the time came to remove the wheel from the car I found that it was stuck fast, and there was just no shifting it. And so, rather embarrasingly, the call was made to the AA.

It turned out that the wheel had been on there a very long time, and the join had actually oxidised shut. So, short of hitting it with a mallet, there wasn't really any way I was getting it free. So, the Man Card remains intact for another day.

And so on Saturday morning I took the car to Kwik Fit, and asked the guy there to "take a look at it"... with the implied hope that they could repair, rather than replace, the tyre.

Haha. Some chance...

It turned out that that tyre had been on the car since it was manufactured, eight years previously. As, in fact, had all the other tyres as well, and all four of them were worn to the point of being dangerous, and borderline-illegal as well.

So, four new tyres, then. Gah!

On the other hand...

One of my few unbreakable rules is that there are two things you never mess about with on cars: the tyres and the brakes. If something isn't right with them, fix it - immediately. There are various other things that will need sorted with differing degrees of urgency, but those two, because of their critical bearing on safety, should never be neglected.

So, had we known the tyres were in that state, we would have had them replaced. (We should, of course, have known - an oversight on my part.) Given that those tyres were indeed dangerous, and especially heading into what might be a pretty rough winter, it's actually possible that that flat tyre actually did us a major favour - it's entirely possible that it saved LC's life.

(Funnily enough, everyone I've since told that anecdote to has pointed out that the police are also doing spot checks on vehicle tyres, and so we've also likely been saved a big fine and many points on a license. Funnily enough, that's a somewhat lesser consideration in my thinking.)

#56: "X-Wing: Mercy Kill", by Aaron Allston
#57: "Dodger", by Terry Pratchett (the new Book of the Year)
#58: "The Wine-Dark Sea", by Patrick O'Brian

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