Howard from San Francisco

To Tom and Ray:

Sorry guys, but the advice you gave Howard wasn’t up to your usual standards (You do have standards, don’t you? I mean besides “LOW”!!)

Recap: Howard said he had a 2000 Chevy Tracker he parked in the driveway out in the desert near Palm Springs in May. He complained that when he returned recently (Was the call recent, because if it was, the car sat for 6 months - and that’s important!) the tires were “deflated, but not flat” and drove like “bum-biddy bum-biddy”. He commented that it’s like “Dante’s Inferno” there in the summer.

You blamed the problem on defective Chinese valves and suggested Howard go back to where he had purchased the tires (several thousand miles ago) and demand that they take back both the tires and the valves.

While I agree that it just might be those valves, it could just as likely have been the alloy rims. The tire placard on these vehicles calls for a pretty low pressure - 24 to 26 psi, depending on the model. Normal air loss is considered to be 1 psi a month - and if the wheels were leaking - say 2 psi a month - then by the time Howard came back, the tires would have been 14 psi!

You guys discounted the heat. Howard said the pavement gets as high as 175? to 180?! Holy, moly, that’s hot! - and air leakage is a function of temperature.

Plus falt spotting is a function of temperature. I work for a major tire manufacturer and when we test for flat spotting> Guess what temperature we set the oven to? You got it - 180?! We can develop a flat spot on ANY tire! And we don’t even let the tires sit for 6 months!

So while it maybe the Chinese valves, it could easy have been the alloy wheels.


The real problem was the car sitting in the heat for 6 months!

This is a good example of a topic that should be posted under “The Show”. It’s completely show related.