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Getting nailed: a cautionary tire tale

Written by maryp posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

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We have mentioned that sticker on the inside of your BMW’s door jamb as having your recommended tire pressure. Keep in mind that those numbers are PSI when your tires are cold. That means, check those tires before your leave your driveway in the morning. Driving will increase the PSI about 6 to 8 PSI, as will a temperature increase during the day.

Once again, we are reminding you that a Tire Pressure Monitoring System does not, and will not, take the place of a physical inspection of your tires. (An incident that we recently experienced, tells the whole story). We were with family members hopping into a 2008 brand new vehicle for a drive that would be about 1-2 hours in duration. Of course, I just happened to notice that there was a nail in the tire, (no rest for the car guy). “Hey, better check that nail before we take off”, was greeted with the boos and hisses of the young, inpatient travelers. But, also the fact that, “it must be fine, because the TPMS light did not come on”!

OK, the nail was not at that point, (pun intended) creating a slow leak or any leak. But, depending on the object in your tire, it can be driven in farther into the tire while you are driving. Then the leak develops and you are now not in a convenient place to have a flat, (as if there is any convenient place to have a flat). Yes, some where along that path, the TPMS would have shown that the pressure had dropped significantly in one of the tires. But, which one? Of course, the one with the nail in it.

NHTSA recommends once a month, but you may notice in your BMW manual that they suggests a physical tire inspection and monitoring of pressures at least every 2 weeks. Check out your tires and enjoy the road!

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