Friday, March 8, 2013

Learn something new every day

Do you ever read the auto-service column of "Dr. Gizmo", Phil Arendt?

What if your car blew a front tire and the tire shop wouldn't sell you just one tire, because the tread depth would be quite different than on the other side? Would you think that the tire place was just trying to rip you off and make you buy two tires?

Arendt addresses just this question in today's column in the Northwest Herald. The situation occurred when a new tire of 12/32" tread depth was to be installed on a front wheel of a car, but the tire on the opposite side had 8/32" tread remaining.

What problems might occur? Arendt explains that the tires' rotating at different speeds could cause problems with the anti-lock brake system (ABS), traction control, stability control and four-wheel drive systems. And apparently not just minor problems; he wrote that the systems could "go bonkers".

Thanks, Dr. Gizmo!


Concerned Citizen said...

Also note that you should never drive in the rain or slippery conditions with the cruise control on. If one wheel loses traction it can set off a seriers of events that puts you out of control. Many car crashes have been causes by the cruise control.This is in the owners manual and easily looked uip to be verified.

Gus said...

Thanks for that good reminder. Some drivers think that, just because they have decent tread on the tires, it's okay to use Cruise on wet, even snowy, roads.

How many people actually read the Owner's Manual these days? I'll bet most just hop in, start the engine and go.

I "pre-flight" my car each day (left over from flying days, I guess). Are all the tires "standing up"? Any pools of fluid under the car? Glass and light lenses okay and clear?

Clem Kadiddlehopper said...

If this happens, the solution is simple. Rotate the tires. So that new tire is on the rear wheels.

OR, if you have an actual spare tire (not a donut) that has never been on the road, use the spare along with the new tire.

Either is cheaper than buying a 2nd new tire.

woodstockabdicate said...

I would argue that anyone who believes that a less than one percent change in rolling diameter of a tire will make vehicle systems "go bonkers" or that cruise control, in any circumstances, will cause a vehicle to lose control rather than contribute to already ocurring loss of control should stay away from the flat edge of the earth so as to not fall off.