Sometimes even the most mundane of stories can have an important message
(apologies to the Americans – I’m spelling “tyre” the Australian way)
I’m probably one of the worlds worst when it comes to checking the tyres on my vehicle.
I haven’t had a problem for years and my mindset is that tyre technology is so good that there is virtually no chance of a problem.
So far so good.
And yes I know that I should check the tyre pressures when I’m “filling up”.
But It’s always – I’ll do it “Next Time”
So I’m driving along a back street and negotiating one of the many small roundabouts which are springing up everywhere when BANG – being a lazy driver I didn’t quite turn the steering wheel enough and I managed to clip the kerb edge with the rear wheel.
Dash it all – I thought to myself.
Hoping that I have not dented the rim of the wheel and caused a slow leak.
About fifteen minutes later I’m parked in the driveway of my house and having a good look at the tyres.
Visually, the tyre that I clipped looks to be softer than the others. I needed to check the tyre pressures – but its been so long since I used my tyre pressure gauge that I’ve got no idea were it is. This would be the logical thing to do.
Anyway – The more I looked at the tyre, the more convinced I was that it was softer than the others.
So, out with the spare and I changed the suspect tyre.
Once the tyre was off, I was able to give it a close inspection and was fully expecting to see a dent on the wheel rim which was causing a leak.
Surprise, Surprise – the rim looked good but as I rolled the tyre around I saw a metal hex head embedded in the surface of the tyre. Sometimes stones and similar can get wedged between the tread and give the impression that something has driven into the tyre when in fact that’s not the case and that is what I was expecting to see.
On closer examination I could see shaft of the small bolt protruding into the tyre – EUREKA
Almost certainly that was the cause of the leak.
I then made a trip to the tyre service centre to get the tyre fixed and was very surprised to see the hex head bolt which was removed. A flat end – no sharp point.
To give some perspective – this is the removed bolt placed atop the tyre
I can only guess that an awful lot of coincidences came together to drive this bolt into the tyre.
And how long had it been embedded in the tyre ? Have I picked it up from standard highway and street use ? – It’s been a very long time since I was on a site.
For me – Murphy’s Law generally kicks in with the worst which can go wrong at the worst possible time.
So on this occasion I’m thanking my lucky stars that I clipped that kerb, otherwise I could have been experiencing a flat tyre at the worst possible moment – not that there is ever a good time to get a flat.
I guess that the message I would like to share is – not to get complacent and that the simplest and most basic maintenance tasks still need to be done.