Last month, the tire pressure light on my car came on. This didn’t surprise me because it happens when the temperature drops. So I check the tire pressure and three of the tires were a few psi low, and one was about 10 psi low. I pumped up the tires and everything was good.
The next week the tps light illuminated again. I checked the tires and only the one was about 10 psi low again. I figured there was a slow leak in the tire, so I took it off and searched for a leak. I couldn’t find anything. I took the tire to the local garage and they couldn’t find the leak either. I put the tire back on and figured I would see what happens.
The tps light didn’t come on for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would check the tire pressure again. Sure enough it was about 10 psi low, but the tps light didn’t come on, so I figured something was wrong with the tire and tps. No big deal, I’ll just check the tire pressure each week to see what is happening.
After a couple of weeks, I got tired of dragging out the compressor and extension cord, so I purchased an air tank to top off the tires. This was much easier. I found all the tires on both of my cars were reading different air pressures each week. Each week I would pump them up to the proper psi.
Finally after almost two months, I decided to try a different tire pressure gauge. All of my tires should be 33 psi per the manufacture. When I used the Slime gauge they were reading 23 to 28 psi each week. When I used my craftsman digital they read 40 to 45 psi! I got a cheap pencil gauge and it was also reading in the 40 to 45 psi range.
Unbelievable, I was furious. I spent weeks messing around with my tires and even bought an air tank all because of a stupid, inaccurate tire pressure gauge made from a company that sold a defective product from the beginning!
The scary part is I used this tire gauge on my motorcycle too! Having an under or over inflated tire isn’t as dangerous in a car as it could be on a motorcycle.
In the past I have written to consumer reports and popular mechanics regarding tire pressure gauges. A couple of times a year they harp on the importance of proper tire pressure in your vehicle. They usually even state something like, even 1 psi off can make a difference in fuel economy and handling. Well, I have used multiple tire gauges on my cars and have gotten different results repeatedly. So, I asked them to do a report on tire gauges to see which one is most accurate. As you can imagine, no response and I have yet to see a report testing them.
Moral of the story, I will be using two tire gauges to check the pressure in my tires from now on. I suggest everyone else to do the same.