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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Pancake Day
Not, it's not till next week, but my new car seems to have decided to celebrate it early with a very flat tyre. :-(

So, where in Cambridge would people recommend for a new tyre for a Renault 5? And how much does a new tyre cost?

And do you say "a new tyre" or "a new wheel"? Because people clearly mean the latter but seem to say the former, and you talk about "spare tyre" but "emergency wheel" and they seem to be the same thing, and I know it doesn't really matter but when I go to buy the bloody thing I don't want to do the automobile equivalent of walking into PC world and saying "I'd like to buy an internet please". Not that I'm REALLY NEUROTIC about knowing the script for this sort of interaction, or anything, y'understand.

I don't know how to change a wheel yet, but it looks fairly straightforward in the manual. In fact the most awkward bit looks to be getting the jack out from under the bonnet. Or possibly getting the emergency wheel out from under the car, though I'm not sure I can be arsed to do that, I might as well just buy the new wheel & fit that straight away.

AND, as if the flat wasn't bad enough, I think the speed-camera on Elizabeth Way bridge flashed me as I was doing thirty miles an hour over the bridge. At least, it flashed behind me (I saw the flash in the mirror) -- does that mean it got me or the car behind me? If it got me I'll be gutted. I mean, I'm sure everybody says "But I wasn't speeding", but honestly, my speedo said 30, I check it a lot because I'm still not really used to the acceleration on this car. But because everybody says they're innocent it can't possibly be true, so that'll be points on my licence and a fine I probably can't even afford, for nothing. :-(

The really ironic thing was that on the way back home over the bridge somebody undertook me down the taxi lane doing twice my speed, and did the speed-cam get them? Did it buggery.

Sigh. There goes my Zen-like calm.

Current Mood: tyred out

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From: kaet Date: February 16th, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I usually just go in and do dumb-blonde at car people (in fact in general). Most people seem to like the opportunity to pull out their metaphorical pipe and give me advice from the shed-of-life. Is that a bad thing for me to do? I'm never sure.
j4 From: j4 Date: February 16th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)


I do that with bike stuff, flutter my eyelashes and Get A Man To Do It, because I'm not interested in bikes. I feel kind of wrong doing it with cars, because I like cars. I want to know the right things to say. It's like, you know, when somebody you fancy tells you all about their hobby and suddenly it seems like the most interesting thing in the world and you want to know about different types of reinforced concrete, or different breeds of guinea-pig, or whatever, just for them. Cars are the ones I fancy, whereas bikes are, I dunno, the boring chap in the pub who tells you all about his collection of beermats, and you're, like, "La la la what-EVER I can't hear you OH IS THAT THE TIME? I have to go and wash the cat now."

Maybe that's just me.

I need sleep.
From: kaet Date: February 16th, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)


Ah, I see what you mean. I didn't realise you were like that with cars. I'm like that with trains. I know diddly-squat about them that wastn't prsent in Rev Awdrey's fine tomes, but when talking to Mark Waller, or someone, I really don't want to appear completely stupid -- :).
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: February 16th, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Our cameras flash at 10%+3, and I suspect Cambridgeshire's are probably similar. Are you sure you didn't go under an overhead direction sign which was lit from the underneath and looked like a flash as it left the angle of your rear-view mirror? That happens to me all the time.
j4 From: j4 Date: February 16th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm really really sure it wasn't that. There are no overhead signs on that road. It was definitely a flash. I just hope it was the car behind.

... Oh, fuckety-fuck. How long do you have to wait before they tell you if they did get you? I'm going to be worrying about it for ever now. :-(
simont From: simont Date: February 16th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
For what it's worth, speed cameras have flashed me two or three times when I was definitely only doing the limit. Nothing ever came of it - no points, no fine, not even a threatening letter. I can only assume that either (a) someone checks the photos and throws away the ones that were obviously caused by a flaky camera, or (b) it's true that not all cameras have film in.

Either way, I'd say it's worth not assuming the worst unless it actually happens.

j4 From: j4 Date: February 16th, 2004 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)


Hmmmm. That's sort of good to hear in a way ... on the other hand I suspect if I don't get a letter I'll be worrying about it for months in case they just haven't sent it yet.

Thanks for the hugs, anyway. *hugs*
acronym From: acronym Date: February 16th, 2004 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


There's a statute of limitations on this stuff: I think it's 28 days, maybe less, for a speed-camera / driving-without-due-care-and-attention thing. Also, it's commonly hypothesised that a speed camera out of film will flash cars nowhere near the limit...

- A
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: February 16th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought it was 21 days, BICBW. I have been on the receiving end of single flashes from cameras a handful of times, which I suspect must have some kind of "harass" mode to keep people on their toes.
acronym From: acronym Date: February 16th, 2004 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)


Two more things: if it's a single flash, it can't have booked anyone (because you need two images to calculate the speed); also, where are the camera's road markings? If they're before the camera, and you see the flash behind you, it can't have been flashing you - you're not over the markings, and light moves faster than you do (even if you're breaking the speed limit! :) )

- A
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: February 16th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you have a flat tyre, you probably want a new tyre; your old wheel is almost certainly fine. Changing a wheel is not terribly onerous, but a bit time-consuming, whereas changing a tyre is quite hard; I wouldn't attempt it myself. The Right Way (IMNSVHO) is to fit the spare wheel yourself, then drive to somewhere like Kwik-Fit or Fast-Fit with the flat in the boot. They'll look at the dud (to get the tyre size/speed rating/etc), replace the tyre and swap the spare back out - all while you wait. (They'll probably also check the balance of the wheel, too, and they can change wheels a lot faster than you or I can.)
From: mikewd Date: February 16th, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recommend going to Arbury FastFit who are at the bottom end of Histon Road not far from the Victoria Road junction.

As mentioned elsewhere the easiest option is probably to change the wheel for the spare and then drive there and let them do the rest. Depending on the nature of the puncture they might be able to repair it - which is only worthwhile if the tyre is still pretty new - otherwise just get a new tyre.

What is likely to be the most hassle in changing the wheel, especially if it has been on the car for a while, is actually undoing the wheel nuts. The tools provided by car manufacturers for this purpose are usually far too wimpy to get enough purchase.

I recommend investing in a tool called a "spider" which is a cross shaped device with ends to fit various sized nuts and because it is symmetrical is much easier to apply a decent amount of torque to the nut. This is useful to keep in the car for when you have to change a wheel at some inconvenient point.
nja From: nja Date: February 16th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


I've had a couple of flats in the last year - urban streets, broken glass and all that. I've had to jump up and down on the spanner handle to get the wheel bolts started, so the advice above is spot on. Once you've got the bolts moving, changing the wheel is easy, and you then go down to Kwikfit:

Me: I'd like a new tyre please.
Him: Which tyre?
Me: Um, the front nearside, where I've got the bright yellow emergency wheel.

Unless you've got the flat tyre by running over a titanium robot, or you've driven around on a completely flat tyre for miles, it's very unlikely you'll have to replace the wheel.
From: vatine Date: February 17th, 2004 07:33 am (UTC) (Link)


Oooh. Useful. they're called somethnig approaching "wheel cross" in Swedish (spiders, that is).
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: February 17th, 2004 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)


There's a webpage somewhere listing excellent prices and local fitters.
I thought it was www.mytyres.com but that seems to be something else.
You have to order from them and arrange the fitting separately, with their recommended guy or otherwise. I've never done it but I have used the prices listed as a lever when asking local garages about tyres.
An ordinary garage that has the gear will be cheaper than a KwikFit type place, usually. On the other hand, for just one tyre for a Renault5, the saving wouldn't be worth the hassle of sorting it: just go to the nearest tyre place.
oldbloke From: oldbloke Date: February 17th, 2004 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: tyres

www.mytyres.co.uk is the one.
You shouldn't need to pay more than the prices they have + vat plus a fiver for fitting/valve/balancing
lnr From: lnr Date: February 17th, 2004 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
That camera sometimes points one way and sometimes points the other, could it have been flashing someone on the other side of the road?
emperor From: emperor Date: February 17th, 2004 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
claroscuro who used to deal with this sort of thing at Parkside informs me that the letters *must* be sent out by the 14th day after the incident; so if you've heard nothing in say 21 days, you're fine.

That may not be very helpful, but it should give you an upper limit. Equally, if you were not speeding, then you should be fine.
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