January 2007 - Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2007!
Remember: The life of your car depends on its engine. Your life depends on your wheels, tires and brakes.

Rim And Wheel Works Info-email:
The TPMS law and how it serves you.

In this issue of our quarterly Newsletter:
 

FYI and VIP

FYI: One of the reasons that it’s penny wise and pound foolish not to straighten bent wheels is because bent wheels do similar damage to your tires as do under inflated tires. The bent wheel stretches the tire fabric in unnatural ways causing wear and belt separation. This reduces the effectiveness of your tire and your stopping ability. You don’t save money by driving on bent wheels and wearing out your tires. It’s just not cost effective.

VIP (Very important Point): If you’re having your wheels or tires worked on and the TPMS system light won’t shut off, have them check your spare. Some spares have TPMS sensors as well and have to be reset with the rest of the wheels every time you reset the car.

Next month we’ll look at the day-to-day impact of the law and its advantages and exigencies.

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This info-email is the second in a series of three on the Tire Pressure Monitoring System Law, its background and its impact on you.

 The rationale behind the TPMS law.
 

Given that the new TPMS law regulates yet another area of our lives, we have to wonder what the possible rationale is for the law and what benefits it provides. It turns out that there are two main areas where the TPMS law saves us – from physical injury and from financial loss. Current research shows that 25% of the vehicles on the road have underinflated tires.


  Physical Injury
Underinflated tires are dangerous. When your tires are underinflated, the shape of the tire’s footprint changes and the pressure this exerts creates increased stopping distance. When your stopping distance is increased, you get into more accidents including accidents that would have been preventable with properly inflated tires. Low tire pressure results in the accidents that you do get into being more severe. Among the effects of increased stopping distance are skidding and loss of control of the vehicle when taking an off ramp or street curve, during lane changes, and flats or blowouts. In some vehicles, underinflated tires can cause rollovers. Injuries to both the vehicles and its passenger are increased. It’s important to remember that even though you may be amongst the 75% of people who keep their tires properly inflated, the 25% who don’t could cause you to be injured or worse due to their lack of control.

Financial Costs: Fuel Economy and Tire Wear

Low tire pressure costs you more than your deductible in accidents. Low tire pressure also costs you in fuel economy and wear on your tires.

Correct tire pressure will improve a vehicles’ fuel economy. Fuel efficiency is reduced by 1% for every 2.9 to 3.3 psi of under-inflation depending on which study you believe.. Either way it’s fairly significant over time, especially at today’s gas prices.

Underinflation also causes tires to wear out earlier. When a tire is underinflated it puts more pressure on the shoulders of the tire and does not wear correctly. Research has shows that for each1 psi drop in inflation pressure, tread wear decreases by 1.78 %, shortening the life of your tires.

One factor in buying tires is the weight of the vehicle. It’s very important to have the correct weight load for the weight of your car. Each tire should hold ¼ of the weight of your car plus extra for passengers and cargo. The heavier the vehicles, the heavier the load each tires takes. Generally the weight load goes from a weight load index of 63 to a weight load index of 150. That’s equivalent to 639 lbs per tire to 7385 lbs per tire. Under inflated tires cannot carry the same weight as properly inflated tires and therefore can cause undue tire wear and a potentially dangerous high speed situation. While most people know to buy the proper size tire for their car, few actually know what the weight load index and appropriate speed rating is for both their car and their driving style.

Note that in the 1980s only 12% of all passenger vehicles had radial tires. Now radial tires are on approximately 90% of all passenger vehicles. Separation of the belts from the tire causes a loss of strength of the tire and more erratic behavior. One of the advantages of the radial tire is the steel belted radials. When tires are stretched beyond the elastic limits of both the tire fabric and the steel reinforcing cords, the cords separate and the tire wears faster and can create a dangerous situation. An additional point to know is that when the radial belts start to separate you often can’t see the shredded tire from the outside of the wheel.

 

(c) Copyright 2007 Rim and Wheel Works Inc.
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