Every time I drive my car, I always see people driving on under-inflated tires. They’re typically older vehicles (pre-2007) that are likely not equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). I try my best to alert the driver, but traffic congestion can make that difficult. Honking at someone to get his or her attention will likely set a negative tone, and probably end with the driver showing me the Massachusetts State Bird (and I’m not talking about the black-capped chickadee).
Practicing Tire Pressure Awareness: 2 Quick Tips
Tip 1: Check Your Tire Pressure Every Time You Get Gas
I know — no one does this anymore. But that habit is a good one — back to the days of the “full service” fuel station, someone actually pumped your gas, washed your windows, checked your oil and set your tire pressures. Imagine that kind of service today!
At least back then, it kept drivers aware of the importance of their tire pressure, rather than just waiting for the TPMS light to come on. Just think about how quickly the weather can change, especially here in New England, and since most service intervals are now every six months, that’s a long time — too long — to go without checking your pressures.
Tip 2: Get a Digital Pressure Gauge
I always suggest people buy a digital tire gauge to use when filling their tires. Don’t trust that old gauge sitting outside year-round at the gas station where you have to feed quarters into the machine. (I had to do exactly that a few weeks ago in Maine, when the driver’s-side front tire was losing air and a ten-month old spiking a fever @ 2:00am before hopping on the highway… Murphy’s Law!) Sure, it’s OK to use the gas station’s air when filling your tires, but don’t rely on the accuracy of its measurement. It’s better to invest in your own digital tire gauge to keep in your car. To be honest, I don’t practice what I preach, but do as I say, not as I do! If it helps to buy me some points, I do have a compressor and shop set up at my house.
– Paul Rota
Openbay Service Advisor
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