Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

Check your tires

July 22, 2010

Last Saturday we went to Topeka’s Kansas Expocentre to witness the Welcome Home ceremony of our grandson from his year overseas with the National Guard. That was a wonderful and thrilling experience for us.

When we were about to get off the turnpike a driver passing us tooted his horn and pointed to our car, and it was a short time later we discovered we had a low tire. Strangely, it did not effect the steering, so we were clueless until I stopped to take a look. Luckily we saw a battery supply shop so we pulled over there and a nice young man had the equipment to take the bad tire off and put the spare tire on. This got us to the Expocentre in time for the ceremony.

We found a tire shop close by and had to get a new one as the old one was ruined in the process. This is one of the things that happen when you are in a hurry. I looked at the tires before we left and thought one was a little low but did not take the time to really check it out. For some reason the tires on this car have lost air more than any other car I have ever had. I have heard that some tire rims seems to loose air more easily.

This caused me to do some research about the subject. Besides the brakes, the pressure in the tires is the most important because it will compromise braking, cornering and stability. Improper tire pressure can lead to tire failure. Incorrect tire pressure will affect your comfort, fuel economy and tire life. If your tire pressure is too high, then less of the tire touches the ground. As a consequence your car will bounce around on the road. When your tires are bouncing instead of firmly planted on the road, traction suffers and so do your stopping distances. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire surface covers the ground, which increases friction between the road and the tire. As a result, not only will your tires wear prematurely, but they also could overheat. Overheating can lead to tread separation and that is what happened to my tire as the repairman said the wheel was full of burnt rubber.

Something I did not know is that a sticker on the driver’s side door panel or the inside of the fuel door tells the recommended tire pressure of your car. It is always good to keep a tire gauge in each car and check the tires at least once a month.

I am so thankful we did not have an accident.

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