Cold temperatures cause increased traffic for tire dealers

Red and yellow warning lights greeted Joan Carson when she started her 2014 Chevy Impala Monday morning.

“It startled me because I’ve only had the car for six months,” Carson said about the tire pressure sensors in her car warning her tires were low.

Tire dealers in the region said recent cold temperatures have increased the visits they have received by car and truck owners complaining about tire pressure sensors going off in their vehicle dash.

Starting in 2008, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration required all vehicles have the tire pressure monitoring system installed. The systems are designed to warn a driver when their tire pressure goes 2 to 4 pounds below the recommended level, said Scott Mullinger, area store supervisor for Grismer Tire and Auto Service.

This time of year there is a lot of fluctuation in weather, and plus or minus 10 degrees in temperature change an cause tires to lose pressure, Mullinger said.

“Often the tire just needs air pressure added, but we also see a lot of corrosion in rims and wear on tires this time of year that cause tires to lose pressure,” Mullinger said.

Kenny Zakar, manager of the Tire Discounters on Springboro Pike (Ohio 741), laughed when asked if they received a lot of tire pressure sensor complaints this time of year.

“We get a lot of calls about it. Tire pressure fluctuates a lot when you get these drops in temperatures,” Zakar said. Snowfall also brings increased tire service for local companies, Zakar said.

“This year it has been a little slow because we have not received as much snow,” Zakar said.

Tire pressure sensor gauges are located in the stems of tires. They run on a small battery that cannot be replaced when it fails. Mullinger said the batteries are expected to last for five to six years.

Both tire managers suggested vehicle owners check the air pressure in their tires every two weeks during every season of the year. Correct tire pressure helps motorists with the longevity of the tires and with fuel mileage, Mullinger said.

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