• Soft air


    For sometime now, I have noticed that the pressure on my right front tire has been going low after a few days. The tire would lose about 6 pounds per square inch (psi) after a few days and if the weather was cold, it would drop the next day. I would usually set the tire pressure at 33 psi (cold) and about 35 psi after about two kilometers of driving. At first, I wouldn’t really mind it. I have an air compressor and a tire gauge to keep an eye on things. Then the left front tire started to act up. It would read 28 psi after an overnight park. Then I decided to have the tires checked to see if there was a puncture. So I went to the nearby tire shop to have the tires looked at.

    The right front tire had a puncture from a nail. But that was not the only thing that we discovered. Apart from a punctured tire, the valve was also leaking. Compared with the puncture caused by the nail, the base of the tire valve was leaking more air. So the nail was removed and a patch was applied. Then the old tire valve was removed and a new one was installed. Then the tire was mounted back on the rim, filled with air and checked for leaks. Zero leaks.

    Now for the left front tire… so it was dismounted from the car and placed in a make shift tub filled with water. With the tire partially submerged, air bubbles would indicate a leak. There were no punctures but the air bubbles came from the tire valve. The valve itself was leaking. Upon seeing this, the tire technician removed the tire valve to see if the base of the tire valve was leaking also. He then determined that the base of the tire valve was still good and got a small tool and tightened the inside portion of the valve. Then the leak stopped. He said that there was no need to change it. It does happen every once in a while.

    Now, why does it sound like I am making big deal out of this…well, besides trying to avoid a flat in a not-so-pleasant time and place, tire pressure can affect the performance of your car. In my case, the steering of my car was affected. With the tire pressure low, turning the steering wheel would require more effort. More effort means more load on the power steering system. And the car would have a tendency to drift or pull to the side where the softer tire would be. Yes, you could correct the pull but it would also create uneven wear on your tires; one tire will wear out faster than the other. Besides that, your fuel consumption will go up.

    It may not sound much but with prices of gas and tires nowadays, trying to get the most out of what you have goes a long, long way. If don’t check tire pressure for the day and they are low… I could feel a difference in the way the car is pulling. It’s not that it’s an old car but when you’re used to things being set up right, you kind of feel if there is something wrong about your car. Even the ride is affected. Too high a tire pressure can give a harsh ride. Too low a pressure can have to soft ride. And the handling of your car will change. Then your safety and the safety of other people on the road will be at risk. A potential accident waiting to happen? Could be… but why wait for it?

    On the lighter side… last February 27, I was able to witness one of nature’s wonders. Our Collette, a mix Shep/Husky, gave birth to five beautiful puppies. Their names are Crinkle, Fudge, Brownie, Caramel and Coco. I would have to admit, this was the first time for me to experience first-hand seeing a dog giving birth and assist in the delivery. And I must say it was humbling experience. Seeing the puppies come out and gasp for air was reminder on how marvelous life is. Sadly, little Coco didn’t make it; it broke my heart to see Collette trying so hard to revive the little one in hopes of waking her up. A mothers concern for her pup, looking for Coco even after I had buried the puppy. No words… just the expressive eyes of Collette said it all. As of this writing, the pups are just a week old. I would want to share this picture of them as they put a smile on my face, them coming into this world has reminded me of the miracles of life. I hope it does the same for you.


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