Tyres are made of vulcanised rubber – named after Vulcan, the Roman god of the forge. You might also recognise the name “Vulcan” from Star Trek, or from the word “volcano”, which is associated with the god by way of “incredibly hot fire”. But here’s an interesting – and ironic – detail about Vulcan. The god walked with a limp, which is, in effect, the exact opposite of what you want your tyres to do.
Keep travelling smoothly with a tyre pressure monitoring system.
See, Vulcan was a deformed god, with a twisted limb, who was misshapen despite the beauty and utility of the objects he created. When it comes to tyres, the notion of “deformity” is particularly interesting. You want the tyre to deform enough that it can absorb impact and won’t lose control, but not so much that it loses the ability to push off against the road. What this balance comes down to is keeping the tyre pressure in a precise range. Too high, and the tyre won’t deform enough and is at risk of losing control; too low, and it’s too flat and drags along the ground, badly increasing tyre wear as well as stopping distance and petrol costs.
So how do you ensure that your tyre pressure stays within this designated range? The traditional answer to that question is to manually check it regularly. By measuring your tyre pressure, you know if it’s outside the range, and you can correct it. Of course, there are a lot of problems with this. Regularly checking something like tyre pressure is a bother, and not even a rewarding one. If you check it and it turns out that everything is fine, you just wasted your time. Fortunately, a better way has been developed.
We have the technology to install tyre sensors that directly monitor your pressure levels, and alert you if you need to take action. This tyre pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, is not only a time-saver, but for all of us who wouldn’t be organised enough to regularly check pressure without it, it can be a life-saver too. Since improperly inflated tyres are more prone to tyre wear, have longer stopping distances, and are more likely to lose control, having your tyres correctly inflated can be the difference between a near miss and a crash that leaves you with one bad leg for the rest of your life, just like Vulcan.