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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Swedish car firm Volvo takes safety very seriously, and so it’s taking the extra step to correct a small error it had made in the past.
The issue is in regards to the tire pressure label for the spare tire. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some Volvo vehicles had incorrect information labeled for the spare tire on the car, and the safety agency want’s Volvo to rectify this issue.
Volvo looked into the issue and found that vehicles in which the spare is added at port or by the dealer might have had a wrong label regarding the tire pressure in the spare tire, even though the spare tire information was correct in the owners manual and on the tire itself.
Still, an error is an error and Volvo will address the 20,000 vehicles with the wrong labels. Vehicles affected include the C70 model built between November 2005 to July 2011, and the S60 model built between July 2010 and April 2011.
This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone: Women are less inclined than men to get hands on when it comes to basic car maintenance. And now, there are stats that back up this statement, thanks to a recent poll conducted by UK used car website Autoquake.com.
According to the study, more than 12 percent (about 1 in 10) female drivers never check their car’s oil level, while just under 8 percent of say the same. When it comes to checking tire pressure, twice as many women (14 percent) as men (7 percent) admit to neglecting this simple car maintenance step, while around 1 in five women say they never check the tread-depth.
To carry our these basic maintenance services, women drivers are more likely than men to pay someone else to do it – about 14 percent of women pay to have coolant levels checked compared with 5 percent of men. Adding to these numbers is the 9 percent of women who pay someone else to check their washer fluid level (3 percent of men admitted this same fact).
Autoquake’s CEO, Dermot Halpin, said: “We’re surprised to find such differences between the sexes. Pumping up your tyres or checking the oil level doesn’t require any special mechanical knowledge or muscle power, yet women drivers in particular are neglecting these basic but important checks.
Yes we know, there seems to be an app for everything these days, but TyreSafe’s contribution to the ever-growing iPhone App Store is a nice freebie. You can simply install the app to your phone, enter in your vehicle’s information and it’ll let you know the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire settings in both psi and bar.
It’s one of those things almost everyone neglects. We just assume our tire pressures are good to go and off we drive. Even worse, many owners just notoriously toss in 38-42 psi and think it’s fine for their tires without ever checking what’s recommended for their vehicle. So kudos to TyreSafe for coming out with a handy little app that’s free for iPhone users to download and use.
And for those without an iPhone, TyreSafe offers all their data on their website. You can never be too safe with your rubber you know.
Pop quiz: What does the symbol above – found on the dashboard of cars and trucks made after 2008 – stand for?
A) Warning: big hips ahead
B) Yikes! Have you put on weight?
C) Oh no! Your big mug is empty
D) Danger! A viking helmet is heading right for you!
Actually, it’s none of the above – it’s a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS for short (in layman’s terms, it’s the light on your dashboard that looks like a fat U with tire treads on the bottom).
And what does it tell you? The TPMS icon lights up when tire pressure in one or more of your vehicle’s tires is 25 percent below the manufacturer’s recommended amount. And all vehicles made after 2008 are required to have them. This stems from the Ford Explorer mess from about a decade ago when rollover accidents were blamed on underinflated Firestone tires. Because of this debacle, it was found that many drivers never check their tire pressure, which in turn puts their lives and their gas mileage at risk. The idea of a warning light seemed like a no-brainer.
If you failed our little quiz, we bet you feel a little silly now. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Schrader, a company that makes tire pressure monitoring system, conducted a survey at the start of 2010 that found that 46 percent of drivers didn’t realize that the little tire-tread icon was supposed to look like tire treads. And even if they did recognize the icon or not, a third of those polled didn’t know what the tire pressure monitoring system is.
Further results showed that 14 percent thought the light was warning them that something else was wrong with their vehicle, but not tire pressure.
You can admit it, we’ll never tell – you’ve never read your vehicle’s owner manual, have you? Sure, we all skimmed it briefly to see how the air conditioning worked or how to program our favorite radio stations, but after that, it just languished in the glove box. But you really should pick it up again and read it through – it contains some juicy details about how you can make the most of your ownership experience.
Filled with important information such as setting up the new car, maintenance tips and schedules, and preparing for potential emergency situations, your vehicle’s car manual comes with many useful tidbits. Here are just a few of the topics your manual should cover:
Initial vehicle set-up: New cars come with an increasing number of custom settings. You may not be utilizing a few of those cool features, such as a tone for keyless access, delayed lighting and the audio system volume limit. Your manual will show you how to tailor them in order to improve your driving experience.
Maintenance schedule: It’s hard to keep track of everything in your life, and your car’s maintenance might be going unchecked. This is when your manual comes in handy – it provides details on when your car should be serviced and what to check.
Adjusting head restraints: What a pain in the neck head restraints can be. Restraints need to be tall enough to cushion the head above the top of the spine and most cars’ head restraints adjust for height. Ones that do not can be forced down in a crash, losing effectiveness.
Removing the spare tire and operating the jack: Nobody want to be stuck on the side of a road in the middle of a rainy night faced with this problem. Just like a boy scout, you should always be prepared, so read the manual and practice under ideal conditions so you’ll be ready if it ever happens.
Decoding dashboard lights: So many indicators on your instrument panel – what do they all mean? Open your manual and find out.
Tire pressure: A great thing about newer cars is that they have a tire pressure warning system that let’s you know when the pressure is low. The manual will tell you what the correct tire pressure should be, how to interpret warnings, and learn the right way to add pressure.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association says that BMW is recalling an unknown number of X5 and X6 SUVs over incorrect tire pressure labels.
According to Inside Line, NHTSA claims not only are the pressures wrong, but the wheel sizing is off as well. “The vehicles are equipped with 20-inch wheels, but the label states that the vehicles were equipped with 19-inch wheels and the stated tire pressure is incorrect for the equipped vehicles. Improper tire inflation can result in premature tire failure or reduced vehicle handling performance, either of which can increase the risk of a crash.
On the other hand, BMW submitted documentation to the federal government stating that the defect will not affect the safety of its vehicles. Owners can contact BMW at (800) 525-7417.
[Source: Inside Line]