Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Get real, car manufacturers

Here's one I inflated earlier
Like, I suspect, most drivers I don't check my tyre pressures anywhere near frequently enough. (This is not helped by the assumption of everyone else in my family that it's my job to look after their tyres too.) But when I do, as I did this morning, I feel a strong urge to get hold of the car maker and shake them until they rattle.

Pretty well every car I've ever had has presented the driver with two different pressures, one for if you just have one or two people in the car, and one for when the car is full and so is the boot. As if anyone is going to modify the tyre pressure every time someone gets in the car. 'Sorry, Auntie Carol, you can't get in my car, I would need to increase the tyre pressure to cope with your weight.' It's just not realistic.

What I need is a sensible inflation level (in bars, please - get over this pounds per square inch nonsense) that will do in all circumstances. It might not be ideal, but that's life. Few things are ideal. Let's just be given a practical value and get on with things. Life is too short to have to guess an interpolated value between the two. I wouldn't mind, but at least one of the cars I deal with has identical pressures all round if you have 2 people in the car but widely differently pressures front and back for a full load.

Arggh! Send the motor manufacturers to the naughty step.

Next week - does it have to be so difficult to change a bulb?


  1. I think the suggestion for higher tyre pressure with big load does make sense, in a circumstance when you're planning a long road trip with all the family and lots of stuff packed in.

    Right, no one changes the tyre pressure when just Auntie Carol gets in the backseat, but if I am about to take a 1500 km road trip, I actually usually check the oil and other liquid levels, check the tyre pressure, and generally inspect the car - and check the tyre pressure and if I have lots lof load, I fill up to the high mark. I have an air compressor at home for tool use, so I use that also for checking tyres; I also have a smaller 12V mobile compressor that I sometimes take with me if I expect I need to check tyre pressures on the road (for example, when towing something).

    This may be less of an issue if you live on a small island like the Britain isles, as then you're less likely to drive far away.

  2. Now, with the light bulbs, I know some people have a real reason to fume. Some Renault models seem to require that you take out the front wheel, disassemble the inner splashguard (or whatever you call the plastic that protects the emgine compartment from mud thrown by the wheel) and part of the nose assembly, and then you can change the bulb. Ridiculous.

  3. PJT - I take the point about higher pressure for a really heavy load, but what irritates me is there isn't an 'average anything between 1 and 4 people with a bit of luggage' pressure, which is what most of us want most of the time. It's either 2 people or a full load.

  4. Well, if the figures ar 2.2 bar for small load and 2.6 bar for full load, most people will happily average that to 2.4 for medium load. Which works nicely.

    Providing the endpoints of the range is useful just to know the safe limits for tyre pressure. If it's lower than the bottom of range, you know it's too low, and likewise you shouldn't exceed the maximum. Anything in between is just to be adjusted for comfort and fuel efficiency, after all.

    Sure, if the car gave just one figure, then everyone would use that. Take note that providing the range between min and max recommended could be something coming from an EU directive, so the car makers may not really have a say on it. (I have no idea if this is so, but I wouldn't be surprised).