Changing tyres

It was a good day lately. The weather was nice, good conditions for cross-country skiing, sunshine, temperatures around zero degrees Celsius. I had been out in the woods with my family and was returning to my car when the day showed its ugly face. Packing the stuff in the trunk I noticed a sound: „pfffffft“. It turned out to originate from one of the front tyres. There had been no warning, no physical impact, not even one of my children getting near the tyre with a ski pole.

I touched the tyre valve and the sound changed. Wiggling the valve finally lead to the air stopping to leak from the tyre. By that time the tyre did not look outright flat, but was certainly lacking the pressure to drive home safely. I had to change tyres. It was a good day, it was not cold, the sun shone – but still, I would have preferred to just get home quickly.

The last time I had changed tyres was almost thirty years ago and it hadn’t been me. We had been on vacation to France and two hours before arriving at our destination we were forced to change tyres. That meant removing most of the luggage from the trunk before my father could take out the spare tyre and lift the car. This year it was my turn.

The situation was a bit tricky, because the jack had to be placed on an even and non-slippery surface. As is usual in February, the surface was covered with ice. I removed two centimetres of ice and placed an old towel under the jack. Lifting the car was then easier than I had thought, and fortunately the screws were easy to remove and fasten again. It still cost me precious time, and this is exactly why I had stayed away from owning a car for most of my life. It costs a lot of time to maintain a car.

The next day we had the tyre checked at a local garage and they recommended to replace all valves for a total of 90 EUR (including re-mounting the flat tyre). The tyres were supposed to be four months old only, so I had not expected them to wear out so quickly. Unfortunately it is still too icy to shift to summer tyres, so we will have to change tyres again in a few weeks. Actually, we are forced to do so, because the tyres have spikes and you are not allowed to drive with spikes after Easter (nor would it be good for the roads).

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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