Car hassles 2

So I was on my way home last night, after a lovely day and doing the grocery shopping. A closed road and a detour on the way, but I manage to find my way around that.

I decide since it’s quiet at the local petrol station, I’ll fill up.

Is Sunday night the cheapest time to buy petrol? I don’t know. I’m a little sensitive to the prices, but mostly it’s a time/convenience thing. I don’t really know how it measures up against other people, but I don’t do a huge amount of driving, and I only have to fill up every 2-3 weeks. (Likewise the 10,000km/6 monthly service invariably happens only about once a year.) A 5 cent per litre difference on a 50 litre tank is only $2.50, not really worth worrying about for me. I’d rather spend a bit more than have to queue 10 minutes for petrol on a slightly cheaper day.

Anyway I fill up with petrol and pay, then since the air thingy isn’t being used, decide I’ll check the tyres. Sunday night and I’m getting tired, but it should only take a minute.

Set the electronic air gizmo to 31. Check tyre 1. Have to fiddle with nozzle to get it to stick, but it works. Psssssh. Beep beep beep 31.

Check tyre 2. Fiddle with nozzle. Not working. C’mon you bloody thing. Fiddle some more. Not working. Fiddle with nozzle, put it back on tyre valve. Pull it off. Very loud hssssssssss — sound of much air escaping. Arghh! Put nozzle back on valve. Gizmo not responding. Take off… more loud hissing.

Oh terrific. So I’m standing at a petrol station on a freezing cold Sunday night with a full tank, loads of groceries in the boot, and my right front tyre is rapidly deflating. What the hell do I do? Just let it deflate, then try and fit the spare? I’ve been shown how to fit a tyre (thanks Steve), but I’m really not looking forward to the time I have to do it for myself. Maybe I’ll just ring the RACV. I really wish I’d waited for another day to try and do this. I’d really like to be at home right now.

Thankfully a little more fiddling got the tyre pumping up okay. I was then brave enough to do the other two tyres (yes, after all that I forgot to check the spare) and left, eager to get home before anything else bad happened.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Car hassles 2”

Why do tyres always deflate in the cold? Sorry, that’s a retorical question. Trying having a flat tyre when it’s -10 C with a cold wind from the north blowing on you and you’re a female. Yes, the emergency road service got called, I’ll admit LOL. I’m not a martyr, believe me. I’m sorry for your car troubles (1) and (2)

So long as your car servicing place has not overtightened the nuts, it is not hard. Remove hub cap, loosen nuts, place jack and jack up, remove wheel, put new wheel on, screw in nuts, lower jack, tighten nuts. Chuck everything on ground into boot, take wheel to servo for repair promptly. A couple of dummy runs will be very useful for you in the future.

Cheapest days to buy petrol is usually Tues or Wednesday before they put the prices up for the weekend rush – especially prior to a long weekend. Mind you, the authorities say that doesn’t happen, but we all know it does.

No reflection on you in particular Daniel, but I continue to be amazed at the amount of growed-up boys who don’t know how to perform simple home-and-car-maintenance tasks (and bravo to you for actually asking a mate tp show you, but thumbs down to Steve for not making you do it yourself!!).
I’m “only” 32, and the number of older-than-me blokes that have asked my advice is surprising…

Interesting point Matt. I make no excuses for this — I’m simply not interested in finding out more about how my car works. It only matters to me that it does. I pay a mechanic and the RACV to make sure it keeps running.

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