One of the fancy pants things that my new car came with was a “Tire Pressure Monitoring System” – that is, an indicator light on the dashboard when the pressure in one of your tires is low1. Now, I’m sure that most new cars probably come with such a thing, but the last car that I owned was a 1989 Honda Civic, so this feature, to me, constitutes “fancy pants.” And yesterday, said fancy pants TPMS alerted me to the fact a tire – or tires – was a little low on the old pressurino. So off I went to yee old Canadian Tire to buy me a tire pressure gauge. Now, I realize that when you go to the gas station to fill up your tires, the air hose thingy has a tire pressure gauge attached. But I decided that I really should be more pro-active and actually test my tires regularly, as I have some vague recollection of reading in the owner’s manual2 that you are supposed to not wait until the TPMS alerts you, as by then the tire pressure is already too low!
Long story short, I managed to lose two of my four tire valve caps inside my hubcaps3 and the digital tire pressure gauge I bought doesn’t work. It will only give me readings of “0.0,” and my tires certainly contained *some* air. Also, it was freezing and rainy and miserable as I tried to do all this. Anyhoo, I went to a gas station first thing this morning and used their gauge and filled the tires up and all was right with the world. Other than that I have to go back to Canadian Tire to return the crappy tire pressure gauge I bought and pick up two tire valve caps.
But all this got me thinking – how often do people check their tire pressure? My owner’s manual says you should do so once a month or once every two weeks, depending on where in the manual you are reading. So readers – how often do you check your tire pressure?
And for bonus points – how often do you check your oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, etc.? My owner’s manual says you are supposed to check those every time you fill up your car with gas (!), but seriously, I don’t think I’ve *ever* seen anyone checking their oil at a gas station.
- someone, I believe it may have been Kalev, said that if my car was so “smart,” why doesn’t the indicator tell me *which* tire is low. To which I said, “touché‘ [↩]
- yes, I read the owner’s manual [↩]
- seriously, I have tiny hands and I still found it nearly impossible to get the tire valve caps off and then even more nearly impossible to get the tire valve caps back on, because the hubcaps are designed in such a way that the valve is sort of inset in the hubcap such that there is almost no room to put your fingers in to unscrew the cap [↩]