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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Do you check your air every day? Why ???

An RV owner in Western NY said:
"OK ... I'm new at this, and I appreciate the importance of proper inflation. But short of damage to a tire I would think daily checking of PSI is more of a cause for air loss. Or is there something I'm missing? There seems to be a real fixation on this topic. I doubt school bus drivers place as much emphasis on this topic as RVers do."

You're correct. Too many fixate on daily air checks. In years gone by that was the best method we could use, but sticking valves can cause air loss and it is not unheard of for a tire to start leaking air right after an air check.
This post shows just how easy it is for a piece of grit to get into the actual valve core opening and could allow air to leak out slowly.

To me avoiding this potential issue is one of the major advantages to using TPMS, but for some reason I have never heard anyone mention this benefit. Since I run TireTraker TPMS I don't do a manual air check unless the readings go below the normal variation range of 3 to 5 psi around my "Set" pressure of 72 psi. Other than the start of my travel season, I may only do a manual check once a season.

Now if you don't want to run a warning system then a manual check each travel day is the only way you can know there is a slow leak. Now to me running without a good TPMS would be much like driving without any gauges or warning lights on your dash.  Would you feel comfortable if this
is what your dash looked like? Be sure to take a close look before you answer.

If you wait till your "thumper"
makes you suspect low pressure you are getting about as much information as checking engine oil by banging on the oil pan with a hammer.

If your IR gun

 makes you suspect high temperature you may already be too late and might have done permanent structural damage to the tire and shortened its life by many months or even years. Rubber is not a good conductor of heat so you will almost certainly not get the reading from the hottest location.

Just as there were advances in early cars when the temperature gauge was just a thermometer stuck in the top of the radiator,
today we have electronics capable of providing the current pressure in our tires so we can receive a warning as soon as it starts to leak air from the elevated hot pressure in our tires.

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