Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems on New Cars Eliminate the Need to Check Tire Pressure?

These are wonderful times in which we live.  As our world becomes ever more technologically advanced, the mundane tasks of our everyday lives become more and more automated.  One area in which this becomes extremely evident is with our cars.  Advances over the past couple of decades have made our cars increasingly safe, more efficient, more economical to drive (even in spite of perpetually rising gas prices), and our cars are now smarter than ever before.  Tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars is a relatively new feature which is becoming more and more popular, and is even beginning to be expected as a “standard” feature.  But do tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars eliminate the need to check tire pressure manually?  I’ll let you decide…

When I was learning how to drive, my dad was like a drill sergeant.  In fact, he wouldn’t let me or any of my siblings even take the car out on our own before we had successfully changed all four tires and proven to him that we could check the oil, the transmission fluid and the tire pressure.  You’re probably laughing right now, but this is a true story – which I didn’t find funny at all at the time.  But I learned what I needed to learn, proved what I needed to prove, and eventually got on the road with Dad’s blessing (well, sort of).  All of this mechanical “training” was really for our benefit, of course, and also to help us maintain our cars by preventing the appearance of the “idiot lights.”

You see, in my dad’s opinion, your oil light should never come on if you checked your oil regularly like you were supposed to.  You’d already know it was low, so of course you would add oil.  That was his philosophy on all aspects of vehicle maintenance; hence his endearing little nickname for the dashboard warning lights.

As a modern day driver, I happen to be a huge fan of tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars.  Based on the lessons learned in my early days of driving, however, I don’t rely exclusively on my “idiot lights.”  A tire pressure monitoring system is great for alerting you to issues occurring while you are on the road, but they are not a full service substitute for tire pressure maintenance.  Ideally, you should check your tire pressure before each trip you take in your car.  Now, most of us are guilty of neglecting this, but at a bare minimum you should try to check your tire pressure before venturing out on long journeys.  And this pre-trip tire pressure should be measured manually, with an external gauge, rather than simply relying on your tire pressure monitoring system to warn you of a problem in progress.

The moral of the story is that tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars are a great addition to vehicle safety technology, but there’s no substitute for a little hands on maintenance and inspection to ensure the safety of your tires.  So grab your tire gauge and check your tire pressure; my dad would be so proud!

Featured Store: Palm Desert

If you're shopping for tires in Palm Desert, CA, then you owe it to yourself to visit Ramona Tire for the lowest  prices and best service.

Ramona Tire & Automotive Service Centers   
78018 Country Club Drive       
Palm Desert, CA 92211   

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