After retiring from a very long teaching career, my new career is: travelling, blogging and writing from the beautiful northern end of the NSW coast.
You can follow my journey at maureendurney.com/
Life is Good!
Published May 16th 2017
When A Totally Flat Tyre Is Better Than A Slightly Flat Tyre
Before my father would give me my first driving lesson a very long time ago, he taught me how to change a tyre and I will be forever grateful for that timely lesson in independence. I've even changed a tyre in the middle of a freeway with four lanes of peak-hour traffic screaming past me at 110 kms an hour, so thank you Dad, you taught me well. But the one thing Dad may have overlooked in the curriculum of car-care and safety, was to teach me how to put air in the tyre so I wouldn't have to change the tyre in the first place. I can still change a tyre, but I can't put air in it. Oh I've tried, believe me, I've tried.
Luckily a lot of service stations have the tyre-filler apparatus at the side or back of the station, so at least I could retain a little dignity as I attempted to re-inflate the sagging tyre. I had no trouble removing the cap, but the problems started when I tried to get the air out of the compressor and into the tyre. What usually happened was the opposite. Whatever air was left in the tyre was mysteriously sucked out and I ended up with a much flatter tyre than when I started. No matter how I tried, the air only went from the tyre to the compressor, never the other way. By then, I usually looked distressed and helpless enough to attract the attention of another motorist who understood the compressor/tyre relationship and sympathetically offered to inflate the tyre for me. Actually, it was usually someone waiting to use the compressor who figured it was quicker to take care of my tyre first, rather than standing there watching (in utter disbelief) as I drained the last dregs of air out of my already shaky tyre.
Back in the old days I could rely on the service station attendant to come to the rescue, but I challenge anyone to find an attendant in the 21st Century. Am I the only person old enough to remember the days when you drove into the service station, waited for the attendant to fill the tank, handed them the cash and waited for the change? Before you could turn the key in the ignition, the attendant would clean the windscreen, put the bonnet up to check the oil and ask if you would like the tyres checked. Ah, they were the good old days.
But now we live in modern times. We fill our own tanks, clean the windscreen and check the tyres. Nowadays the attendant is securely seated inside, just waiting for you to walk through the door with cash or card in hand so they can ask you if you would like to add a carwash or take advantage of the latest special on Mars Bars - 'buy two and get one free'. And I no longer have to check the oil because a little computer tells me, via a message on the dashboard screen, that it's time to book the car in for an oil change.
Knowing how important tyres are to safe motoring, I have always been a bit paranoid about having enough air in, and tread on, the tyres on my car. As the NRMA so aptly puts it, tyres are "...the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, so they are fundamental to handling, braking and responsiveness on the road. In order for your car to operate safely on roads it's important to ensure the tyres fitted to it are the correct size and type for your car and in good condition."
So I gave up trying to be super-independent and no longer go through the charade of putting air in the tyres at the service station. These days I go to a tyre repair place and let the people who know what they're doing, take care of the task. When I recently had a tyre-malfunction, I knew it needed expert attention and I knew exactly where to go to get it.
From the moment I arrived, the service was excellent. While waiting in the customer lounge area, Ashley offered to make me a hot-chocolate from the coffee machine. It was a nice gesture and one that I wasn't expecting, but it was very much appreciated.
It wasn't long before the specialist examining my car came to break the news of the diagnosis. Luckily he couldn't find anything wrong except for a stone that had lodged itself in the tyre. There was no serious damage and the tyre had recovered with a little life-giving oxygen. All good as far as I'm concerned. And if I have any other tyre-related problems, I know who to call. I've had my tyres looked after by other Bob Jane T-Marts who were fantastic when I lived a lot further north-west of the Gold Coast, but the service at the Mermaid Beach store was exceptional. The fact they've been there since 1979 is a testament to their reputation as reliable and trustworthy technicians; they must be doing something right to have been there that long.
So if you live on the Gold Coast and need new tyres, flash wheels or just a breath of fresh air in a sagging tyre, take your chariot down to Bob Jane T-Marts at Mermaid Beach and be treated to excellent service, provided by a super-friendly team of experts. And you can enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate while you watch TV, or read a magazine while you wait. I know I'll be dropping in on a regular basis to get my tyres checked (I'll be back for another hot chocolate, Ashley). After all, they know what they're doing and will have the job done properly in no time at all, unlike the process I used to go through when trying to be 'independent' and ultimately putting my safety at risk in the process.
To ensure you get the best products for your car, Bob Jane T-Marts offer a guarantee to take the worry out of investing in tyres that will be the right ones for your car and driving needs.
And with Mother's Day fast approaching, why not get Mum a Gift Card? She could get new wheels, tyres or even a new battery to make sure the family 'taxi service' is always ready to go.
I'm one who has to find someone else to check things on my car/van. I've never had a flat tyre in my many years of driving until recently. Had to call the RACQ which changed the wheel in no time. Yes, I always get the "experts" to check my car's inner workings. Good article, Maureen.