Cars these days seem to have enough technology on board to fly a rocket to the moon. It’s all very well, but when it goes wrong or worse, the driver misunderstands what the flashing light means, trouble soon follows.
We’ve had a lot of rain just recently in the U.K. On a journey back from London to Wales, the rain came down and you’d be forgiven for thinking we were in the monsoon season in Asia. It was late evening, the end of a very long day and I just wanted to get home. Somewhere along the way, we would have to stop and fill up with petrol. I can’t remember which motorway services we pulled into, but it was somewhere on the M40. It was a chance to get a cup of coffee and a sandwich too. It’s quite remarkable how much better you feel after a stop and refreshments.
Hit The M40
Around a half hour or so, we set off back along the M40, the rain still coming down by the bucket full. Just as I got going and reached the point of no return on the motorway, a warning light came on saying that one of the rear wheels had low tyre pressure. It hadn’t lost much, but was worrying and what made it worse was that the next service station wasn’t for another 50 miles. I mentioned it to the wife who said, “Oh dear…” and went back to sleep! So I drove the next 50 miles at no more than 50 MPH, staying on the inside line.
It was a long, long time till we arrived at the next service station which was on the M5. Driving up the slip road to the garage and the air machine, I pulled up and gave all the wheels a quick look over. They looked fine, I couldn’t see any flat tyres! So I put my £1 in the air compressor, yes a whole £1 and in the pouring rain added air to the nearside rear tyre. The rain was so heavy, I didn’t mess about with blowing up the other tyres. Back inside the car, I started the engine and thankfully no pressure warning light. All was good and off we set.
Pulling onto the M5, once again past the point of no return and the blooming pressure light came on!! The same wheel! Again, it was another 50 miles to the nearest service station which was situated off the motorway in a town called Tenbury Wells. That’s it then, what would normally be a 90 minute journey suddenly became 2 hours and more as I drove at no more than 50 MPH. We arrived at Tenbury, pulled into the garage and forked out another £1!! Ridiculous!! The tyres all looked OK, so I added air again to the one that was showing up on the warning light.
Job done and on our way of the last leg of the journey to our house in Wales. We had only travelled about half a mile when ping, on came the tyre pressure warning light!! By now I had had more than enough and said to the wife that I will continue the last 20 miles home and will check it all out tomorrow when hopefully, the monsoon will have stopped. It had been a long day and all I wanted was my warm bed and leave the trouble of the pinging tyre pressure light behind me.
Bright and early the next morning and there was a respite in the incessant downpour. First job of the day was to check those damn tyres. A quick check over stilled showed nothing really to worry about, so I set off for the local garage with my £1 in pocket. When I re-checked the pressure warning light, it suddenly dawned on me that at the motorway services and in Tenbury, I had been putting air in the nearside rear tyre when in fact, it was the offside rear tyre that was causing the problems. How stupid am I? I was tired and with all the rain, that was my excuse. Anyway, a quick blow of air in the right tyre and the light went off and hasn’t been on since!!
How to check your tyre pressures.