I am very bad at checking the pressure of my car’s tyres.  I know this is short-sighted and no doubt costs me a lot of money in terms of unnecessary wear and tear.  However, I have a deaf excuse.  I’ve been telling myself for years that the problem is that I can’t hear the “beep” letting you know that your tyre has reached the requisite pressure.  Not my fault that I don’t do it, then.  Just another big hassle for hearing loss people.

So, a few weeks before the implant operation, when I went out to my car and saw that one of the rear tyres had deflated quite significantly, my heart sank.  It wasn’t completely flat, but it wasn’t good either. I decided to drive very carefully to the nearest petrol station and brave the tyre machine.  Off I went, to a big supermarket in town, and pulled up in one of the requisite bays.  In the UK you get a choice of scales for tyre pressure – Bar (whatever that is) and PSI (pounds per square inch).  My car manual says all four tyres need to be at 2,0 Bar so I set the machine to the Bar option, paid my twenty pence and started checking and pumping.

That’s where the lack of an audible beep comes in.  Faffing about in the cold, I try to keep the nozzle on the tyre valve whilst constantly watching the display on the air pump machine itself, so I can see when it says “End”.  This is not too bad for the tyres nearest the machine but becomes a complete pain in the neck for the two furthest away.  My tactic over the years is to get into a position where I can still see the display through the car’s windows whilst, of course, always making sure that I’m holding the nozzle in place.  In short, I contort myself into bizarre positions, squint at the display through the intervening glass and get thoroughly bad tempered.

Of course, I COULD turn the car round in the middle of the operation so that I’m always relatively close to the machine but you don’t get enough time to do that and it would cost another twenty pence.  I’ve not lived in Yorkshire for a quarter of a century without picking up some of the local habits.  “Twenty pee is more than enough to pump yer tyres up, lass”, I say to myself.

Then, horrors oh horrors……..I look at the display and it says the pressure has reached 2,6 Bar; probably enough to trigger a minor explosion, or cause the car to float off over Skipton, kept aloft by a grossly over-inflated tyre.  How on earth has that happened?  What do I do now?  HELP!

Eventually, keeping calm (??) and seeing that the tyre looks perfectly normal I realise that the machine has somehow tripped into PSI setting, so it is 26 Pounds Per Square Inch, not 2,6 Bar (you can’t see the comma unless you get very close to the display).  By this time, I’ve used up all the time a twenty pence piece buys and I have to pay another twenty pence, reset the machine and finish the job, by now thoroughly, thoroughly grumpy.

Readers, the tyre got fixed (quite cheaply, a seal had gone rather than it being a puncture) and, post-implant, I thought I’d have another go at tyre pressure checking.  Full of confidence that I would hear a loud, reassuring, BEEEP when the correct pressure was attained I started checking all four tyres.  But there was no loud beep.  If I really concentrated I could hear a buzzing sound when “End” flashed up on the display, but it wasn’t earth shattering.  Chastened, I returned home to quiz Nigel on the volume of tyre pressure machine beeps.  He quickly agreed that they are not very loud.  Sometimes, if there is traffic passing, he struggles to hear himself.  So it doesn’t seem to be a deafie problem after all, particularly.  Why can’t there be something on the thing you press into your tyre’s valve, which alerts you?

And there, more or less, is where this post originally ended, until, looking for a suitable image, I found THIS.

Copyright: 36clicks / 123RF Stock Photo

THIS is what we need.  A guage where you can actually see it, not somewhere behind your back or visible only through two pieces of glass.  All garage forecourt tyre inflating machines should be like this.  Better for deaf people, better when there is traffic passing, better for the less agile (less contorting).  Why don’t we have them?  (Or is it just Skipton?)

Another quick post-implant update on sound volumes.  We have one of those soundless whistles for Izzy.  You know, the sort which operate at a frequency too high for humans to hear.  For six years I’ve been putting my heart and soul into blowing this thing (would that she put her heart and soul into returning promptly when she hears it, but that’s another story).  The other day we set off up the hill and I come to a point where I need to call her back so out comes the whistle and I blow our trademark “tune” –  BIP BIP BIP BIP BEEEP.

B****Y HELL.  CURSE.  SWEAR.  It nearly blew my head off.  It’s not a soundless whistle at all.  And nobody ever said…….


14 thoughts on “Beeeep

  1. Hi Vera, I feel very bad reading all these comments about filling car tyres with air as this is a job I have never done, always left it to himself indoors. So saying that a couple of years ago we decided to fill the tires with nitrogen instead of air as apparently the nitrogen is not released through the tyres at the same rate as air is. So far no problems. You seemed to have come along in leaps and bounds since your CI, long may it continue.

    1. Hi Pat. There are many things that Nigel does for me because he’s better at them than I am, so don’t feel bad. And I’m sure it works the other way round too……

  2. Hi Vera

    Ah, now, car tyres.

    Earlier this year the display on my dashboard came up with a warning about my tyre pressure. It was in the form of an outline overhead diagram of a car with the driver’s side front tyre highlighted.

    So I immediately thought that was the tyre that needed air, as you would do.

    Went to the local filling station, put 20p in the machine and put the nozzle on the valve only for the display to show the pressure was OK.

    Off I drove and the warning came up so I phoned the dealership and spoke to the mechanic. “Just cos it shows that tyre on the display it doesn’t mean it’s that particular tyre”. “It could be any one or more of them!”


    Great! back to afore-mentioned filling station, this time with adult son riding shotgun.

    What do you know? It was the two rear tyres that needed air!

    With sonny boy acting as “ears” we fixed them.

    As for sirens, no matter how well I can hear them with my hearing aids, I can’t tell where they are coming from so I’m searching mirrors to see if they are behind and have passengers looking for where they are.


    1. I am hugely reassured by your story as it proves I’m not the only one who gets muddled, and sometimes worried, by dashboard indicators that flash at you but sometimes don’t mean what they seem to mean. As my car has got older I am very proud, though, of having got to grips with always having engine oil in the car, so I can top up the minute the warning icon for that comes on. I know, I know… are meant to check oil levels regularly too but, like tyre pressures, there always seems to be something more interesting to do.

  3. Oh Vera – hit the nail on the head again for me with Izzy’s whistle. I always knew Elmo’s whistle had a sound ‘cos I could hear it with my hearing aids. After my stapedectomy, which prevents me putting the hearing aid in that ear for several weeks, I did the same, gustily blowing our tune – peep peep peep. Yowser!!! Boy did it pierce my newly-repaired ear. No wonder friends flinched before when I’d blow it mid-conversation on a walk. Meanwhile my other ear, with the hearing aid, wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

    1. It’s very good news about your ear, though, if it can already hear so much better. Good to know I’m not the only one to have been blowing people’s heads off all this time.

  4. Your observations about pumping up car tyres are, as usual, right on the button. I avoid forecourt pumps if I can and I used to use a foot pump at home. I bought one from Halfords and being (I thought clever) chose a double cylinder model which should do the work in half the time. But how wrong I was. It’s far harder because you have to press twice as hard to get the air to go in, which is OK if there isn’t much air in the tyre, but once the pressure in the tyre rises, it become nearly impossible to press the foot thing down unless you are a heavy weight. And I’m not. So I now use a little electric pump which plugs into the cigarette lighter on the dash. It takes ages but it avoids both the foot pump and the forecourt.

    I’m glad to hear the continuing saga of the cochlear implant because what you describe is the real world. It’s very encouraging and helpful for those of us who are wondering if it’s the way forward for us too.

    1. Hello Ivan. I didn’t know about all these gadgets; will have to investigate. Reassuring, as ever, to know it’s not just me that has problems. Best wishes. Vera.

      1. Keith uses a rechargeable, cordless pump – plug it in indoors, charge it up, take it out to car, attach to tyre, turn on and let it do its business. We use it on our motorhome which has huge tyres – it may struggle to do them all in one go but manages to top up a set of car tyres in one go. Ours is an Air Hawk Pro – oooh eer 😊😤

  5. Haha! The high frequency sounds that you have not heard will certainly take you back!! Nothing like so loud I have constantly said could not hear the beep on oven when cooking finished and have told well it is loud! Well, now I can hear it, it is loud! And ambulance sirens are awful!!

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