Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fleet Management - Tire Pressure Indicators

I came across an amazingly simple device that indicates whether the tire pressure is low. I don't know about your fleet maintenance procedures, but getting out the tire pressure gauge sometimes gets overlooked at cleaning or whenever you check tire pressures.

Low tires contribute to unsafe handling, especially in rain, more blowouts when hitting curbs and potholes, higher fuel costs and shorter tire life. As you're probably aware, in most cases you can't visually judge even when its 10 psi low.

The way these indicators work is this: you buy the model for the recommended tire pressure for the vehicle. They screw on the valve stem in place of the black cap. The end of the indicator shows green if the pressure is good; it turns yellow if the pressure is 4 psi low and red if 10 psi. The picture above is somewhat misleading - you only see one color band at a time.

I've been using a set of these caps for several months and am impressed. I've seen several version of these indicators in local auto parts stores but you should be able to find a wholesale source. At $10 for a set of 4, every carshare should install them on every car in their fleet. Information about one brand that seems to have pretty good indication can be found at http://www.accupressurecaps.com
. I'm sure there are others.

And if you'd like to read some very useful information about all aspects of tires and tire maintenance - check out the articles from the Tire Rack at the link below. There's a very interesting one about the bogus system that will be allowed under the US government-mandated tire pressure monitoring system that will be installed on new cars next year.