Thursday 26 January 2023

ZKV 110


ZKV 110





Our car has all these electrical finesses, one of which is to tell me that the pressure in any of the tyres deviates from that of the other three. An orange cross-section of a tyre pops up, there is a loud pling, and the offending tyre is identified. The manual says: Do not attempt to drive further. The first time it happened we were 50 km from home, so I phoned Erik at the VW centre. ‘Don’t worry, the electronics are sometimes a bit overactive. Go in and reset the pressure, and click confirm.’ I did. The orange picture disappeared.

Two years later, the right front wheel plinged. I reset. Two days later, it plinged again. I reset. When this happened the third time, on the sixth day, I phoned Erik at his desk. I am not sure if he had left it in the meantime – I call him Erik Idle, for his studied, though polite indifference to customers. Basil is too harsh a name for him.

‘Did you inflate the tyre,’ he asked. ‘No, since I was told to reset last time.’ ‘You have to inflate the tyre before you reset.’ ‘Possibly the tyre has a slow puncture.’ Erik disagreed. His politeness disintegrated. ‘You’re not listening to me. You must inflate the tyre first before doing a reset'.’ ‘Not if the tyre has a slow puncture, it might make it worse, and then I couldn’t drive over for you to help me.’

Eventually, Erik grudgingly agreed to help me if I drove over. After another fruitless exchange of hot air – and tyres should be inflated with cold, since heat changes their pressure – Erik checked the tyres. ‘You seem to have a slow puncture,’ he informed me. ‘We’ll do it while you wait.’

After an hour, I pointed out to another mechanic that my car had now been placed outside the workshop again. Erik was nowhere to be seen. ‘Oh, the keys and the bill are on Erik’s desk,’ he told me. 

It’s like translating poetry – a line with the wrong pressure, and up pops Erik. Every time. Picture and pling.



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