October 23, 2014

Slime Tire Gauge

About a year ago I purchased a Slime brand tire pressure gauge, the round type with a needle to show the pressure in the tire. It broke after only a few uses, so I contacted Slime and they replaced the gauge free of charge.

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.

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