Tip & How-To about Cars & Trucks

How often should I check my tire air pressure?

You should visually inspect your tires the first time you use the car or truck. A small leak will cause low air pressure and premature wear and tire damage. On average a tire will lose 1 pound of air every month. Tires should be checked when cold ( not driven for several hours) and adjusted to the proper air pressure which is stamped on the side of the tire or in the owners manual. If you are checking the tires that are already been driven, then add an additional 4 pounds above the cold pressure recommendation.

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Tire pressure says sensor fault it's a 2009 Mercury mariner do I need to replace or can it be reset

The "tire pressure sensor fault" message is an indication that there is a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A tire pressure monitoring system is required for all motor vehicles manufactured after 2007. The pressurized air inside the tire is monitored by the TPMS. The TPMS consists of tire pressure sensors which are placed inside each wheel. These sensors provide the driver with information regarding the actual tire pressure of each tire in real time.
All car tires are tubeless, unlike bike tires that have an inner tube that when filled with air inflates the rubber tire. Tubeless car tires have an inner core that is filled with pressurized air. The tire should be filled based on the manufacturer's specified PSI. This can usually be found on a sticker on the driver's side door or trunk. If the tire is overinflated or underinflated, this could cause damage to the tire and/or hazardous driving conditions.
Problems that are possible when a tire is overinflated:
  • Shorter lifespan of the tire
  • Broken tire belt
  • Uneven wear on the tread
  • Bad traction-specifically in the rain and snow
  • Difficult to steer and/or maneuver (it may feel as if you are driving on ice)
  • Decreased friction
  • Driver may experience a harsh ride
  • Could cause damage to the suspension
  • Tire may blowout/explode
Problems that are possible when a tire is underinflated:
  • Shorter lifespan of the tire
  • Make cause the tread to separate
  • Premature wear on the tread
  • Decreased fuel economy
  • Difficult to steer and/or maneuver (it may feel harder to turn with precision)
  • Increased friction
  • Tire may blowout/explode
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Warning light appeared on the dash, its red in colour looks like a horse shoe with an exlamation mark in the middke

That is the low tire pressure warning. It can come on for several reasons. It commonly comes on in the fall as temperatures drop, the air in the tires contracts and the pressure drops. Check the air pressure and fill as needed. The tires also all need to be within 4 psi of each other.
Another common cause is that one or more tire sensor needs the battery replaced. This is not generally considered a DYI project because for most cars the tires must be removed from the rims. Finally the sensor can be damaged by hitting a curb or by adding chemicals into the tire used to seal small leaks.
As long as you check your tires visually prior to driving it is usually ok to wait to service the sensor for when you replace or rotate your tires.

Please keep in mind driving on a tire with low pressure can damage the tire, the rim or even cause delamination of the tread and cause an accident. The Firestone recall that involved Ford Explorers several years ago was from driving on tires with low pressure.
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The tire icon stays on all the time. How do I get it off?

Sounds like it is either a tire that is low on pressure or you have a valve stem module that is bad. You can have the air pressure checked in all of the tires including the spare. If that does not fix the problem go by a place that fixes and sells tires. They should have a device that can tell which module is sending the low pressure signal. This should be done soon!!!! Because if it is a tire low on air pressure it causes it to run warm, wear faster, and could blow out easier!!! Tires should be checked every month for wear patterns, air pressure and any signs that it could fail!!! Remember your tires are what supports your life look after them!!!!!!
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Excessive tire wear ... 15,000 miles, 2 years old ... dealer says they are worn out on inside???

The only way a tire can wear out prematurely on the inside in my opinion is if you were driving around with low tire pressure for an extended period of time. Maybe they are saying the tires have what we mechanics call dryrot ? The sun dries the rubber and silicates causing cracks in the tire.I can only give you an opinion in this case without actually inspecting the tires myself off of the rim. Sorry, Hope that helps ? feel free to ask for clarification.
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2003 Dodge Caravan Sport Malfunction Indicator

make a visual inspection of your van, do a walk around and look under the van for any oil or water leaks turn on the lights and haz. lights and walk around to see if all are working , look at the tires for any unusal wear,cuts,low tire pressure. check the oil level in engine and coolant. look at the air filter if possible for dirty filter. if u notice anything unusal tell the mechanic so repairs can be do and so u will not have any problems in the future.
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