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Mon, Dec 5, 2016 21:51
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Technical Side

Tires, tires and more tires


The weather turned colder two weeks ago. Not mindboggling cold, mind you, just into the high 50s at night. But every morning at that temperature, my Vette’s tire pressure alarms would go off. By afternoon the alarms would clear.  So last Saturday I checked the tire pressures cold. They were all about 5 psi low. 5 psi? I was shocked but then why should I be since the same thing happened last year at this time. The signal is clear however; when the temperature drops, check your tire pressures. 5 psi against a 30 psi standard is 16% low and that is significant. A three-hour interstate ride to Atlanta could overheat a tire causing failure. Eeeks. Don’t let this happen to you or your family.

And thinking of driving safety, I am continually amazed at the safety features being installed on vehicles. One high-end sedan has ten air bags. Some econo-cars have four or five. This is a far cry from the 1995 Silverado I owned that had one in the steering wheel or the ’98 that had only two. 

I bring this up to once again beat the drum on choosing the safest vehicle you can afford for your young drivers. Say what you will about the good old days (like 1957 when I started driving), but today’s traffic density and speeds are all much higher than back then.  My first car, a ’46 Plymouth, topped out at 80. Today, cruising 80 on the interstate is not unheard of. Being passed doing 80 isn’t, either.

Read my words from someone who interfaces with young people every day. Put the safest vehicle you can in their hands. For that matter, put the safest vehicle you can in your hands, too. Then take care of the daily maintenance and teach your children to do likewise. I hope to see you around next fall when I’ll probably be writing about the same lesson!

Gene Canavan is a retired West Point Graduate and Paper Mill Utilities Manager and lives in Prattville, Alabama, USA


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