Archive for October, 2010

California’s New Tire Pressure Law

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Last month, the State, in its infinite wisdom enacted a regulation that requires auto repair facilities to check and adjust the tire pressure on every vehicle serviced.  Is this a good idea?  On surface it seems like it. But in practice, some in the industry have identified a possible flaw in this law.

Tire pressure specifications given by vehicle manufacturers are to be used on cold tires. A tire that has been sitting out in the hot sun or one that has been driven on for even a relatively short distance will have pressure readings 2 to 5 psi higher than it did when it was cold.

Imagine you drive in to your local quickie lube store for an oil change. They are now required to check and adjust your tire pressure. An inexperienced “mechanic” may see the tire pressure too high and actually lower the pressure in your tires. This will result in lower fuel economy, and increased tire wear and possible safety issues.

Experienced professional technicians always compensate for temperature when adjusting tire pressure.  Please make sure that the person performing this service on your vehicle is doing it properly.

In the event you don’t want your tire pressure checked, The State allows you to opt out of the mandatory tire pressure check if you promise to check it yourself.

Oh and I would like to point out that we have been performing this service on most of the cars we service at Jacoby Auto since we started over ten years ago.

Helping Your Mechanic

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Intermittent problems with your vehicle are the most difficult problems to solve. You can help your mechanic by gathering as much information as possible prior to taking your car in for repair.

Describe the symptom. Is it a noise? What does it sound like? People have described various noises as, “a bird noise”, “an owl noise” “a crying baby noise” even “a ghost noise”. Believe it or not, these descriptions can be helpful.  Use all your senses to give the most accurate description possible. Under what driving conditions does the problem occur? Does the vehicle have to be moving, idling, accelerating, decelerating, turning left or right, engine warmed up or cold?  Is there anything else going on? Even if it seems unrelated to your concern, describe any other unusual behaviors your vehicle exhibits.  On a modern vehicle, many seemingly unrelated systems can be connected.  Has recent work been done? Bring receipts from repairs or service, including body or paint work.  Lastly, if possible, go for a road test with the technician and try to reproduce your concern. This will go a long way in helping your shop get to the bottom of the problem quickly. In auto repair, time is money so the less time we spend diagnosing your vehicle, the less expensive the repair will be.