Getting Air Into Tires In Extreme Cold


Both of my folks have been smokers since their teens. Starting in his mid 40’s, dad has had three heart attacks, three stents placed, and a triple bypass. No one expected him to still be alive. But his car was always clean. Emptied the ash tray as soon as he got home, every Sunday the glass got Windexed and the car got vacuumed.

Mom is 74, still driving the '75 Buick she bought new. Her car was always a no-smoking zone. Maybe on a long road trip you could light one if there was no rest area near by, but to this day you can get in the car and still have that 70’s GM smell.


Yes. An extra $60 or something and you got a lighter that plugs into the power port and an ash tray that fits in the cupholder. But since it’s my wife’s car and I rarely drive it anyway she passed on that option.


How silly

I remember that cars used to have ashtrays, a power port AND a separate cigarette lighter

Now apparently you get power ports, usb ports and what have you, no cigarette lighter and no ashtray

My grandmother was a lifelong smoker, and it never caught up with her. She smoked until the very end, and peacefully went in her sleep, in her own home, actually. She never had dementia or alzheimer’s, either

But she DID drive a few years longer than she should have. She never hurt anybody, but she did mess up the car a few times

For some reason, my grandfather never got a driver’s license. He never did say why . . . I suspect some bad experiences in the war caused him to never get one, afterwards . . . but it put more stress on my grandmother, because she had to take care of all chores that involved driving. They certainly could have afforded a second car. As a civil servant, she had a good salary, and later a good pension, but it’s a moot point if you only have 1 driver in the household


I know that 70’s GM smell well that you’re referring to. My parents had a 73 caprice. It had a 454. Dad got a deal because it had a cigarette burn in the back of the drivers seat from a test drive. Also, I think that may have been around the time gas prices were on the rise? If so, the 454 wasn’t a helpful option. I’ve been to car museums and the old GM smell brought back fond memories of riding in that car, standing on the driveshaft hump looking over the front seats.


Ehh, nobody smokes anymore, and I don’t even smoke in my own cars. Well, I have an old pickup around and I will smoke in that if I’m alone. But not my daily drivers.

I’ve had a number of cars that were older than I am. Everybody must have smoked back then. I had a 1965 New Yorker and a 1965 Oldsmobile Luxury Sedan and both had 4 ash trays and lighters.

I also remember being a youngster going on vacation on a plane and sitting in the rear of the aircraft because that’s where the smoking section was.


Our fleet is so short-staffed these days, we’ve been farming out some larger repairs lately

Anyways, one of the outside vendor’s mechanics that brings the trucks back after the repairs obviously smokes while driving, because it’s overpowering when you open the doors. It needs to be aired out for several minutes afterwards


Getting back to tire pumps, I bought a cheap foot pump with a plastic cylinder. I was pumping up a bicycle tire to the 75 psi and I heard a loud pop. It wasn’t the bicycle tire–the plastic cylinder on the tire pump blew out.
I salvaged the hose, chuck and gauge and fitted it to an electric compressor my father-in-law gave me. I think that compressor was for the air horns on a diesel semi tractor. I got some wire, battery clamps and a starter button. This was the handiest air pump I ever owned. It was handy not only for inflating tires, but was useful for inflating air mattresses when we went camping.


When it gets really cold you might find your tire warning light illuminating since the air pressure is reduced by the natural action of the cold causing the air to pressure to be lower. The tire pressure warning is very sensitive, one lbs. reduction in pressure due to lower temperature can cause the light to illuminate. This is not due to any leaks or even any major problem just natural forces at work. Unless a tire continually loses air it is unlikely to have a leak, just look for a place to get some air and keep an eye on the warning. If the temperature has recently dropped due to winter weather this is a very common occurrence. One thing to remember in the spring check your tire pressure to be sure the increase in ambient temperature hasn’t caused the tire pressure to increase too much.


I don’t have the facts but I don’t think a 1 pound pressure loss with set off the TPMS light.



the tire pressure has to be incorrect by approximately 20%

A tire that is only 1psi off is not going to cause the tpms warning to illuminate


I’d have to check the book but I think mine was down to 24# the only time the light and chimes went on-due to a 2 1/2" screw.


And they’re supposed to be inflated to around 30psi, as per the book?


I remember when the whole plane was smoking. I remember hospitals in which people smoked. I remember that smokers got to litter: throw their butts on the floor, grind them out, leave them there.

? I bought 1 for about $6 at Auto Zone 20 years ago. It was metal. It lasted about 10 years. Then I bought another for about the same at the Mart of Wal, also metal, which has lasted 10 years so far. They’re in stock for $10. I only use it on the road as the hand pump is faster.


Heh heh. I was in for a week and I’d pull the IV cart with me to the outside patio to have a smoke. When I went in I only had half a pack with me. My wife wouldn’t re-supply me but my dad, bless his soul, had mercy on me. Working out in the cold and rain today reminded me of our duck hunting sessions.


Had a neighbor in San Diego county who smoked through his tracheotomy.


Remember a 98 year old lady saying the the only reason she got up in the morning was for a smoke and a shot of jack. Hope she did not drive…


_i DO THE SAME I bought a small electric pump and keep it in the car all year around , I cant depend on broken gas station pay pumps so I also carry 2 air pressure gauges to check one against the other sometimes they dont always work right _518432616


I have seen failures of both hand and electric pumps so don’t think one is more reliable than the other. I have an electric pump as does my GF. It is nice so she can just check and add air as needed. Low tire pressure is a safety issue so would rather put a TINY amount of wear and tear on the engine and alternator for the convenience of filling a tire. I often do other things while the electric pump is working such as loading my car up for the day or feeding my animals. These things aren’t fast enough to overfill a tire. If it is above where I want it I can let the air out with no harm done.

I was at an air show this weekend and got to see one of the two B-29 bombers in flyable condition. They towed it out and started it up about 100 yards from me. Boy were these radial engines running rich and smokey when first fired up! One backfired and stalled just as it was getting going so they had to restart that one. There was no smoke once they warmed up and none when the plane was flying. I read up on these when I got back and apparently starting the engines was quite the procedure and having the proper mixture was very important as you could foul out all the spark plugs of which there were many very easily. This is NOT an engine I would start for power to fill a tire! I wouldn’t think twice about doing this on a modern fuel injected engine though.

As for the smoking, I have known people who were very clean about it and you would never know as well as people where tar is dripping from everything they own. This stuff eats electronics as well as people. I see many more failures in smoked up units when compared to units used in nonsmoking environments. Of course it blocks up all the fans and such inside computers, causing them to overheat. I also see many more hard drive failures. I think some of the smoke particles are small enough to pass through the very fine filters in these drives but also think that the extra heat kills them too. Hard drive lives are shorter if run hot. Certain models of laptops have no cooling around the drives and I will see a whole string of certain model families come through one after another.

I am glad fewer people are smoking as I am sensitive to this crap. The fans basically concentrate it inside computers so I usually take them outside and clean them out with a compressor. A leaf blower also works if it is not too cemented by tar. I have been in a few places where the tar is just creeping down the walls in little streams though. I usually open the nearest window to where I am working, no matter the temps outside.


The flight engineer on the B29 had his hands full:


The smoke smell getting in computers reminds me of a funny story. One of the peddlers at a scrap yard I worked at wanted to sell me an old Sega video game unit with 30 or so game cartridges. It smelled like smoke and was 20 years old, so I assumed it wouldn’t work, but I gambled and gave the guy $15. I took it home and my son and I played it on a spare TV. I think my son was around 7 years old. A while later, I had to fill in at work for a heavy smoker and operate his crane all day. He smoked in the cab, so naturally the stale smoke smell got on me. When I got home, my son said, “Daddy, you smell like a Sega.” Once I figured out what he was talking about, I had a good laugh. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.