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Crisp Mornings, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Tire Pressure Lights!

Here in North Carolina we woke up to a surprisingly crisp morning. Fall came in like wrecking ball, as Miley would say. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised to that my tire pressure monitoring light was on. Why does the weather play a role in your tire pressure?

Did you know that hot weather is more likely to may make your tires over inflated and cold weather may cause your tires to be hazardously under-inflated?

Newer cars (mostly after 2000) have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) built in for each wheel that constantly measures the inflation of that tire. You can read an earlier blog about TPMS and see a video on changing tires with them.

tpmslightWhen your tires differ from the recommended inflation pressure, your TPMS will activate and the light will come on, informing you to check the PSI in your tires. If your tire pressure has been set during the hot summer months, the first major cold wave will cause the air to contract inside your tire, lowering the pressure, thus setting off your TPMS.

According to a study conducted by TPMS sensor maker Schrader International Inc., many drivers still can’t identify the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning symbol on their vehicle’s dashboard. This study also found some other interesting facts about tire pressure, click here to see the results.

The TPMS measures your tires when they become significantly under-inflated. It’s important to check you car’s owners manual to see what is the recommended cold tire inflation PSI. Some vehicles will even tell you what the pressure is instead of just showing the warning light. Like on my Chevy Truck:

There is a relationship between the change in temperature outside and the pressure inside your tires. On mornings like this, where fall is in the air, your tire pressure will become significantly lower. Cars that sit outside all night will be affected more by the colder weather than those kept in a garage. Your tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside air temperature drops. (Likewise, it increases about 1 psi for every 10 degrees when the temperature rises.)

1. Only 15% of car owners properly check their tire pressure. Don’t be one of them. Check your tire pressure monthly. Don’t wait for the light to come on. Carry a tire gauge in your glove box, and check your tires once a month. Do this in the morning, when tires are cold. During this time, make sure all tires are at the PSI indicated in your manual.

2. As you drive, the friction will allow the tires to heat up, increasing the pressure. If you check your tire pressure after driving, you may have an inaccurate high-pressure reading.

According to https://www.accuweather.com, most tires can handle higher pressures resulting from driving and in hot weather, provided they were set at the “correct” pressure when it was cold.

3. If your TPMS light comes on, immediately check your tire inflation. You can also have a dealer or a mechanic check it for you. The light should go off once your tires reach the proper PSI, but check your manual as there may be a reset procedure to follow.

Do Not Ignore The Light

A June 2012 study by the Rubber Manufacturers Association reports that more than 80 percent of vehicles on our highways have at least one under inflated tire, which can reduce safety and handling, raise your fuel consumption, and can wears out the tires faster costing you money.

Cars have warning lights because it’s important. I’m going to repeat that, Cars have warning lights because it’s important. A car is something that needs to be maintained and up-to-date on all maintenance work in order to keep you safe and the car in good condition. Running on under-inflated tires will affect gas mileage and will substantially increase the wear on the tire. The biggest safety issue is that it can result in dangerous handling. Increased friction created while driving on under-inflated tires will cause tires to overheat and increase the risk of a blowout. Remember the Goodyear accidents from under-inflated tires?

So, now that my tires are at a safe pressure …. WELCOME FALL AND WARM COFFEE DRINKS! Have a great Monday!

Beware the generic car lift! Do you know who you’re buying from?

IMG_0775There is a business model in place today in the automotive lift industry that poses potential risks for the uninformed buyer.  A master distributor purchases garage equipment products, like car lifts and tire equipment, from overseas and places them in strategic warehouses around the country for sale through a secondary distributor network.

While some of these secondary distributors have prior experience selling car lifts and other garage equipment, many are simply internet stores that have no technical knowledge of the products.  Beware of these “stores”. The car lifts that these types of distributors sell are typically unbranded.  Furthermore, they provide no warranty or service support and have no service and warranty parts.  Product returns are difficult at best.  And all of these functions must be handled through the master distributor who the buyer does not know!

Why wouldn’t a legitimate company want their name on the products they sell?  Typically, because these distributors don’t stock or ship their own products, it is not possible for them to affix a nameplate or decal to the car lift. There are lots of other reasons for having an unbranded product, and none of them are good for the consumer.  Maybe they are dodging a state sales tax authority or don’t have the required product liability insurance. Maybe they know that it is difficult to give a poor online review of an unbranded product.  But I believe the biggest reason is to dodge warranty and service issues after the sale.

At Eagle we receive numerous calls in our service and parts department where the caller has no idea of the brand of automotive lift in their shop.  Many can only give us the IMG_0763manufacturer’s name off of the power unit.  Sometimes we can help them identify the lift, but many times we can’t.  Think about that.  If you can’t find the seller to get a replacement cable how will you locate them if there is an accident involving the car lift?

An automotive lift with no name should frighten you.  Certainly brand names can cost a little more but with that comes assurance that the company will stand behind its product.  And that can mean a lot if you are the person working on a vehicle supported by that no name lift!

About Eagle Equipment
The Eagle brand has been a trusted resource in the industry since 1954. Our corporate offices, showroom and a 70,000 sq. ft. plant is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We’re excited to offer you great products, great prices and a knowledgeable sales staff to help you find what you need. Our in-house sales and customer service team have over 50 years of collaborative experience and product knowledge to answer any questions you might have, as well as provide after-sales support for warranty claims, repairs or parts/service.

Hours
Monday through Thursday:
8:00 AM until 5:30 PM EST Office Hours
8:00 AM until 7:30 PM EST Phone Hours

Friday:
8:00 AM until 5:30 PM EST Office Hours
8:00 AM until 6:30 PM EST Phone Hours

Visit Us
We welcome you to visit us during normal office business hours.
Corporate Office, Showroom, Warehouse and Manufacturing Plant.

4810 Clover Road
Greensboro, NC 27405
Click here for directions

To read more about Eagle Equipment, check out our “About Us” Page.

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Outdoor Car Lifts: Can You Do It?

I was driving home from work the other day and saw this as I was stopped at a red light. An Outdoor Car Lift.
lift outdoorsIt made me sign and think of why the most common question I get asked is “Can I install my lift outside?”

People ask this for a number of reasons. They don’t have room in their shop (notice the ceiling height on the above photo), they don’t want to dedicate the space to it or they prefer to work outdoors (this is usually not the case).

Technically, the correct answer is, “You can put it outside (as in, who’s stopping you?), but should you?” Lifts are designed for indoor use, installed in a temperature-controlled environment.  Installing an Eagle lift outdoors automatically voids the warranty because it is a certainty that there will be damages to the lift caused by natural elements.

Continue reading Outdoor Car Lifts: Can You Do It?

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