A Driving Instructor's Blog

Nails in woodI nearly went a full year without a single puncture… until last night.

My last lesson was due to start less than 5 minutes away from my house, so I hopped in the car and was met with the “ping” and a warning light on the dashboard. I went round to have a look and, sure enough, the front nearside was extremely low. I quickly cancelled my lesson, pumped the tyre to the required pressure, and set off in the direction of Kwik-Fit. But then I realised the time was 5.50pm – and a vague memory of them closing at 6pm flashed up in my mind. I pulled over and did a quick Google, and I was right. Damn.

The tyre didn’t deflate noticeably when I checked it late last night, but by this morning it had. I was actually quite pleased about that, because I’ve taken them in before when the tyre’s suddenly deflated and they’ve not found a problem (aka “possibly a sticking valve”). The fact it had done it twice inside a day meant that was less likely to happen this time.

Anyway, I took it in this morning, and thankfully I was the only one there, so they did it straight away. It turned out to be the most pristine, shiny, straight-out-of-the-box-someone-just-bought-from-Screwfix screw imaginable that was lodged on the inside surface of the tyre.

I’ve mentioned this before, but when the reverse around a corner exercise was still tested, and so you had to spend a lot of time perfecting it, some corners were deliberately seeded with screws by sad acts who probably also voted for Brexit. One year, I had four punctures in the space of a few weeks just before Christmas – all shiny new screws.

If I ever catch anyone chucking screws into the road, I’ll punch their teeth in!

Incidentally, if you’re ever on a lesson (or even if you’re a regular driver), NEVER let your pupil drive over a bit of wood in the road. It’s usually a piece of skirting from a house (or something similar) and it almost invariably has screws or nails in it, which the wood conveniently holds in an upward position. If you’re lucky and there are no such screws, it’s only because some other poor sod has found them first and they’re now stuck in his tyre.

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