04 January 2021

Don't ignore a low-tire-pressure warning

I was recently greeted by this icon on my dashboard, so I got my gauge and checked all the tires, each of which was at about 25 psi instead of the recommended 30.  I've not had any service for the vehicle and have only visited a gas station about 4-5 times this year, so I used this occasion to drive over to my local Subaru dealership, which offers an "express" service for minor problems.

While the technician was checking and filling my tires, I mentioned that I could not see any evidence of deflation and assumed that this was just a result of neglect and cold weather.  Then I learned something.  He told me to never judge the inflation of a tire by visual examination.  He has seen tires with pressures of 10-15 psi that were still upright and visually "ok" - because the rigid sidewalls of modern tires keep them upright even when underinflated.  You learn something every day.

I was in and out in 15 minutes and there was no charge.  That's good service.  And good advice to check tire pressures routinely during fillups or before trips.


  1. This is, indeed, something that I would have not known if you did not blog intermittently. Mission fulfilled!

  2. I learned the hard way to stop and check immediately if the tire pressure indicator is on.

  3. On most cars the tire pressure sensors are located in the valve stem of the tire. The battery on these sensors are generally good for about 10 years before the sensors need to be replaced. Here in Ohio, the local shops charge about $75.00 to replace a sensor so to do four tires is going to cost around $300.00.

  4. I put electrical tape over mine. Stupid thing goes on all the time for nothing.

  5. Another piece of advice I learned late in life- run your a/c once a month even in winter to help keep the system lubricated and prevent cracking and premature failure.

    More info:


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