Saturday, September 30, 2006

good motoring
Tyre pressure at a glance

H.Kishie Singh

Airchecker is fitted over the tyre nozzle
Airchecker is fitted over the tyre nozzle

Definitely one of the most important automobile inventions was the pneumatic tyre. In this tyre, the rim doesn’t ride on solid rubber, but on a bed of air held by the inner tube. This tube is encased in the tyre and both are mounted on a steel rim.

This tyre gave the car a smoother ride than ever before, and the vehicle could lift heavier loads. It improved fuel-efficiency and handling. There was one condition that promised all this. Correct tyre pressure. Like all things mechanical, perfection in the functioning of machinery is necessary for performance. Tyre pressure had to be perfect.

It is well known that drivers around the world pay little or no attention to tyre pressure, thus adversely affecting cornering, braking, and fuel consumption. For the first time someone has addressed this problem. Why it took so long for someone to think up such a simple idea is baffling. There is a brand new product in the market called the airchecker. Possibly, the second best invention after the pneumatic tyre.

Airchecker is a very simple fitment. Normally, after filling up air, a dust cap is tightened over the nozzle. Airchecker is a cap that fits over the nozzle, the same way.

The chrome cap that acts as a dust cap contains a pack of high-pressure springs that are manufactured to specific tolerances. They range from 26 pouns per square inch to 70 psi. These cover the recommended tyre pressure for most cars, trucks, buses, trailers and caravans. When the tyre is inflated to the correct pressure and the airchecker cap is screwed on, the window shows a green colour. This is clearly visible in the viewing window. Should the pressure drop by 4 psi, the green in the window will be replaced by yellow. And should the pressure drop by 8 psi, red will appear in the window. This means that the tyre pressure is dangerously low and requires immediate attention.

Simple as that! Without even bending down, you can visually tell the health of your tyre. There is only one downside to this cap. It is not able to tell you about over inflation. In spite of this, this fitment will be made mandatory for all new cars in the US.

Here is a bit of information some readers may not be aware of. If you have an anti-theft device fitted on your car i.e. central locking, you will be entitled to two per cent discount on your "own damage premium" (O.D.P.). Your insurance can be bought in two parts. Part ‘A’ is ‘own damage premium’, which is usually referred to as comprehensive insurance. Part ‘B’ is third party insurance, which is mandatory under the Motor Vehicles Act. The third party insurance, as the name implies, is for damage to anybody other than yourself or your car.

Happy motoring.