September 12, 2008
Tire Pressure: How Low Can You Go?
By John Coyle
As I wrote on Monday, last weekend Jen helped me get my old XJ6 back on the road. I was super stoked to hear it fire up, and I was even more stoked to see that the junkyard alternator we put on was alternating like a champ. But even after that success, we weren’t out of the woods. Since the car had been sitting for so long, the tires had lost a bunch of pressure—one of them was down to a scant 12 pounds—and since we didn’t have any way to pump them up, I had to drive to a gas station. Of course, there aren’t any gas stations in downtown Seattle, which meant I had to travel a little bit to get properly inflated. Jen followed in her Escort as I limped along, and as you can imagine, it was a pretty tense trip. Even though I kept my speed below 20MPH for the entire 2.5 miles, the tires were squealing so badly that I was afraid they were going to roll right off the rims. Fortunately, even though the first place we went had a broken air machine—yikes!—I managed to make it to a 7-Eleven—oh, thank heaven—and get the tires all squared away. The whole ordeal made me wonder exactly how low tire pressure can get before it renders a car impossible to drive, and if any CarDomain members have had a similar experience. So how about it? Has anyone else done anything this sketch?
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