“Safety and comfort comes with complacency, and that’s never a good place to be working from.” — Elijah Wood
A M A T T E R O F D R I V I N G S A F E T Y
This week’s word prompt on Susan and my alternate site is “Baffling“. This is another contribution to the cause. It deals with auto safety and dealing with loose wheel lug nuts.
A “lug nut” or “wheel nut” is a fastener, specifically a nut, used to secure a wheel on a vehicle. Typically, lug nuts are found on automobiles, trucks (lorries), and other large vehicles using rubber tires.. When they get loose there is a good chance that your wheel could be in jeopardy.
In early February I had an oil change and tire rotation at my automobile dealership. The car was due for an oil change and the tire spin was part of a winter package deal.
When the work on my car was completed a courtesy van picked me up at my residence and dropped me off at the service entrance bay door. I waited my turn in line to pay the cashier.
As I was using my credit card to pay for the charges the female handling the transaction blurted something out which I did not understand. What she said was difficult to interpret as I was concentrating on paying the bill with my credit card. Tough to concentrate on two things at the same bloody time.
While she was handing me the receipt I asked her to repeat what she had previously mentioned to me. She replied that I was to drive the car for about 60 miles and then return and have the wheel lug nuts tightened at the end of that period of time.
There was no other explanation offered to me at that time. I thought that was unusual but did as she suggested. I assumed that the extremely cold weather or the additional fact that I had my tires filled with nitrogen could have been the reason for the return visit.
Today I returned to the dealership to have that operation competed. There was no charge for this and I watched as the female attendant skilfully removed the hub caps and then tightened four of the five lug nuts per wheel. There are five per wheel.
Out of my own ignorance I asked her why was she was not tightening all the lug nuts. She said she needed the wheel lock to do that properly. I told her I had them in the trunk of the car and popped the trunk to get her the locks.
She then proceeded to tighten all the wheel nuts properly.
I asked her about her actions and wondered if the fifth wheel nut needed to be tightened . “It does not really matter” she said. She added that this was part of the company’s safety check and a standard procedure.
I was very relieved I asked her that question. I would have had nightmares of the wheels leaving the chassis if I did not ask.
I am always baffled by other people’s attitudes towards safety.
Their less than professional safety practices could prove disastrous for their customers.
Sometime being a worry wart pays off. — gc