Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tire Air Pressure

As part of my 2005 New Year's resolution, to take excellent care of my car tires, I check the air pressure regularly. I have found that every 2-3 weeks is often enough. I bought a high-quality gauge (they have 'em cheap at Wal-Mart) that is accurate to about 1/4 psi. So my goal is to keep them within 0.5-1.0 psi of spec (excluding somewhat greater variations when outdoor temps change a lot).

The key--as with so many things in life--is convenience. Getting air at the gas station is often not so convenient. First, you have to find a station with free air that is on your commute. Then when you stop, you have to hope nobody else is using it, or not using it but parked in front of it (common at convenience stores). Then, you can assume it will not have a built-in pressure gauge, so you have to have yours with you. Then it is often cold and windy (here in MN).

My solution is just to use my hand pump, the same one I use for bike tires and the kids' balls. It typically takes about 8 pumps per psi, so not an undue amount of exertion. All in all, it is quicker than stopping at the gas station.

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