Ascot Hotel, Half Edge Lane (B5229), Monton, Salford
14 Feb 2011
I was driving back home on Friday night after work with my Fiancée to pick up our travel bags from Winton before heading down to London. I heard a loud bang and the car lurched. I realised we'd gone over a pothole.
When we stopped, at our home just down the road, I got out of the car and heard a hissing noise coming from the passenger side front wheel. On closure inspection the alloy wheel had been bent/ dented and air was escaping from the edge. I was quite upset as we had plans to buy wedding rings and suits in London the next day; which now had to be put off. A positive though was we stopped and discovered the damage; if we'd continued down the motorway we'd really have been stuck. When I tried to take the wheel off I had a lot of trouble.
I'd only just bought the car and had never taken the wheels off. When bought I checked there was a spare wheel, jack spanner etc. so initially thought it would be no problem. I jacked up the car, got the locking nut and placed it on the wheel nut. Then tried to turn it with the spanner, but it wouldn't turn! The spanner was for standard VW wheel nuts. The previous owner of the car had fitted alloys with a different shaped nut. I didn't have any tools, so went next door to ask a neighbour if we could borrow some. Our neighbour came out with a sockets set and hand held drill. We managed to take the locking nut off, but couldn't take the other bolts out as they had been over tightened by the garage (I'd had the front brake pads off the day before). The spanners we had didn't fit the smaller recess on the allow wheels. So we were stuck.
I called the AA, but they were no help. I wasn’t covered as I was at home and it wasn’t classed as a mechanical failure. I only wanted some help to take the wheel off, but apparently the AA’s vehicles wouldn’t have suitable spanners. The best they could offer was to tow me to a garage for £108.
I called a mate and asked him to come around the next morning with his tools.
When he did we tried to take the wheel nuts off, but couldn't and we ended up busting one of his sockets. The only option was to take it to the garage to get the wheel off. We inflated the tyre with a foot pump. I set off for the garage. My mate was going to follow me in his car to help if I got stuck.
The garage is only 5-10 minutes away, but Salford Council’s Road Maintenance Contractor were fixing potholes on the section of road outside our house (the irony) and had closed the road. I had to navigate the back streets to get around the diversion; which were filled with traffic doing the same thing - all the time worried that the tyre would fully deflate and I would be running flat. I eventually made it to the garage.
The garage confirmed the wheel nuts were over-tightened and are presently looking at fixing the cars wheel. My mate never made it to the garage (he had locked his car keys in the car).
Luckily my car was in for a service and exhaust repair at the garage and they hadn't started work on it. I took it, drove home and picked up my mate. We then went to the pothole and took photos and video of cars going over it. Then I drove him back to Stockport to pick up his second set of car keys before driving him back home again to pick up his car.
Finally we set off for London in the early afternoon. Loosing half a day thanks to a hole in the road, no thanks to the AA and huge thanks to a good friend Mr N.
4-10 Half Edge Ln, Salford M30 9, UK
BACK to 'Read stories' home