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Douglas Spencer

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Tyres [Jan. 13th, 2011|07:07 pm]
Douglas Spencer

A few weeks ago (December 17th), I went to buy a couple of tyres. I was thinking about getting four tyres, but I ended up only getting two for the front wheels -- we thought the back tyres would keep going until the summer sometime.

So since then, I've been driving around on two new tyres at the front and two old tyres at the back.

Yesterday, I got a flat. Fortunately, it was in one of the older tyres, at the back. I muttered under my breath, dug out the spare (which, although it was eight years old, was brand new) and set to with the jack and brace and so on.

The first nut, I could loosen. The second nut, I could loosen also. The third nut was no problem at all. The fourth nut was one of those "locking nuts", a specially shaped one with a magical adaptor which you hide so some passing dodgy geezer can't steal your wheels. I fitted the magical unlocky-thing to the nut, connected the brace, and leant on it.


Yes, the locking wheel nut was living up to its name. Closer inspection revealed that all the individual pegs and notches on the nut -- the ones that match up with similar shapes on the unlocky-thing -- were a bit chewed. And so the magical unlocky-thing walked up and off the nut long before the nut started to loosen. We theorised that last time it was tightened, someone used one of those compressed-air devices and made it much too tight.

Well, in the end we got a tow from the nice chap from Direct Line Rescue, and then the clever boys and girls at White Lane Service Station managed to undo my recalcitrant nut and get the wheel changed.

This morning I popped over to Challenger Tyres and bought two new tyres -- one to replace the flat, and one to replace its friend on the other rear wheel -- and put the originally-spare back as spare.

There's a few quid I wasn't expecting to spend until later, but I'm pleased it was one of the old tyres and not one of the new ones.

The locking wheel nut is now done up just tight enough, rather than far too tight. Perhaps sometime soon I'll replace it with one that hasn't been chewed.

Many thanks to johannes_d who provided lifts to Julia during all those fun-and-games.

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[User Picture]From: alexmc
2011-01-13 07:56 pm (UTC)
Maybe you should buy those plastic things that lorry drivers put on their nuts to make sure they aren't coming off.
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2011-01-13 08:37 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately very common - both garages overtightening them using a nut runner with the torque set to maximum, and locking wheel nuts or keys shredding themselves. It's also nearly always the last fixing which proves the most difficult to undo/most likely to break in a particularly annoying and expensive way while removing several layers of skin from your knuckles.
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[User Picture]From: deborah_c
2011-01-14 12:43 am (UTC)
This is possibly better than the opposite, at least. After Kwik-fit replaced the tyres on my ex's car last year, the loud bang a few days later turned out to be the tyre moving as the last but one nut fell off. The garage who recovered it had to start by tightening all the nuts on the other wheels, which were all also in danger of coming off...
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