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This past weekend as I was hanging out with some friends the topic of conversation moved to changing tyres and whether we, the 2 ladies in the room, had ever done it before. You see, the other lady had to take her car in to the workshop to have the tyres changed. Now isn’t that something that can really be done at home? Albeit if it’s all 4 tyres – that indeed would be a lot of work. I was shocked, women empowerment and all meant something like changing tyres should be child’s play for us as well. I mentioned how as a teenager my uncle gave me some very good age old advice-that as a woman I would need to learn the skill not only of charm but of changing tyres as well (thank you Uncle Frank). So he supplied me the tools, took his newspaper and proceeded to sit in the living room while I did some grunting outside changing a wheel on his massive 4WD. 30 minutes later my lesson was done and boy was I proud of myself. It actually was pretty easy. But apparently the same thing would not go in the current state of  German EU regulations. A skill I was assured was super useful has now been made redundant as all and sundry now need to go in to workshops to have their tyres changed.

Why? An EU regulation that came into effect on Nov 2014 requires the installation of tyre pressure monitoring systems in all cars to be registered in the region( because one can no longer rely on the simple optical examination we’ve been using all these years) to tell whether one’s tyres are adequately inflated. We are indeed in the smart age hence we must ‘need an app for that’. My first thought on hearing this was that obviously this meant quite a few accidents had resulted due to low tyre pressures and, more so, wrong optical estimations but apparently this was not the case.

You see the industrial genius that designed the sensors used a very clever marketing angle. They said that since Germany EU is trying to reduce its COemmisions, installation of these sensors would result in huge fuel savings because cars running on poorly inflated tyres would use more fuel than necessary. Their sensors would ensure this abomination would not happen.

We all know the drama with electronic systems in cars and that one doesn’t simply DIY it. And that, folks, is why my life skill is now redundant…in the EU atleast.

Don’t believe the hype – all that’s green is not necessarily gold.