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      08-14-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
Bigiggs
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Check Your Tire Pressures!!

So this morning I awoke to a low tire pressure warning from my TPMS. I quickly phoned my boss and informed him that I would be late coming into the office. I took my car to the local tire shop and had all four corners checked out. To my surprise not only was my right front extremely low (~20psi) but so where all three other corners (LF 25, LR 31, RR 30). While at the shop, I verified that my tire setup was supposed to be 36 Front and 39 Rear. My concern is that my car has not even seen one year of use, and yet they were so massively off point. My conclusion is that the tires where either not filled to specification at the factory or have been leaking (not likely).

My word to anyone with poor gas mileage would be to buy a gauge and make sure that all tires are filled to the correct specification.
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      08-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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One basic word of wisdom in car care is to check your tire pressures periodically. I do it every 1-2 weeks, if not more. You should especially check them for every 10F change in temperatures (seasonal changes). You should not be driving if you cannot check and maintain your tire pressures adequately.
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      08-14-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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It is common knowledge to all BMW dealerships i've been to that they all are aware of the TPMS sensor nuts not being snugged down tight enough or come loose and slowly leak air over time. Happens to one of my front tires all the time.

You should really just carry a portable air pump in the trunk that hook up to the cig lighter and that way you can do it on the fly and not have to call in late or get stuck on the side of the road.
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      08-14-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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lol you went to a tire shop because your tire needed air? buy a compressor man. I check mine biweekly.
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      08-14-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Its been well known that the metal valve stem nuts(E in the photo bellow!) tend to loosen with miles. Use an 1/4 ratchet, 11mm deep socket to just snug them up - they require very LOW torque something like 4Nm. Also once they are tight check your tire pressures AND RESET your TPMS. You do this with the car running(but stopped) and use the BC or iDrive menu settings to reset it. The TPMS system is a "dumb" system... everytime you "reset" the system you are giving the TPMS a new "target" pressure to look for. IF you do not do this you can get false warnings with your TPMS.
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      08-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the responses....does anyone have a particular tire compressor that they care to recommend?
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      08-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Its been well known that the metal valve stem nuts(E in the photo bellow!) tend to loosen with miles. Use an 1/4 ratchet, 11mm deep socket to just snug them up - they require very LOW torque something like 4Nm. Also once they are tight check your tire pressures AND RESET your TPMS. You do this with the car running(but stopped) and use the BC or iDrive menu settings to reset it. The TPMS system is a "dumb" system... everytime you "reset" the system you are giving the TPMS a new "target" pressure to look for. IF you do not do this you can get false warnings with your TPMS.
Thank you for this...will do as soon as i get home.
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      08-14-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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I use a Viair 70P. Amazon has it for less than $50. Be sure to get the battery clipped accessory socket. Otherwise you have to run the engine to use the compressor. It comes in a nice bag that fits the cubby on the passengers side of the trunk. There is space in the bag for the battery clips and also a plugging kit.
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      08-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigiggs View Post
Thank you for this...will do as soon as i get home.
Just be careful when you check how tight those 11mm(E in the above pic) nuts are. You can break the valve stem quite easily - so just make them snug, not too tight. IF you break that metal valve stem... you have to dismount the tire and replace the TPMS assembly/valve stem.
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      08-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Just be careful when you check how tight those 1mm nuts are. You can break the valve stem quite easily - so just make them snug, not too tight. IF you break that metal valve stem... you have to dismount the tire and replace the TPMS assembly/valve stem.
got it...I'll tighten just so. Thanks for the clarification.
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      08-14-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimD View Post
I use a Viair 70P. Amazon has it for less than $50. Be sure to get the battery clipped accessory socket. Otherwise you have to run the engine to use the compressor. It comes in a nice bag that fits the cubby on the passengers side of the trunk. There is space in the bag for the battery clips and also a plugging kit.
I have mine on the driver's side.

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      08-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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Interesting. I have a similar black and decker air station that has both the cigarette lighter power and a normal power cord, but the cords are really short. I got it cause it automatically shuts off at the dialed in desired pressure and I'd rather use a normal power cord than go through the cigarette lighter (when I can).

Curious how accurate the gauge is on that one if you guys have compared it to free standing gauges. I have a handheld slime gauge and it registers 7 psi below the compressor's gauge and I don't know what to trust anymore!

But I've decided to be an incredibly responsible owner with this car and check my pressure once a month as everyone advises, but seemingly nobody follows (aside from die hard car enthusiasts it seems).
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      08-14-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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Now if only we could check our damned oil in the old fashioned way... THEN we'd be talking!

But yes, indeed, do check your tire pressure regularly. It's an important safety precaution that goes entirely forgotten by, errrr, 97% of drivers? Am I being pessimistic there?
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      08-14-2013, 08:18 PM   #14
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97% seems sadly OPTIMISTIC to me! Nobody does it. I think they say you lose 1-2 psi generally per month just naturally. My friend and former co-worker used to have this yellow (don't know brand) inflator that was all digital and you could plug it in, would tell you the PSI in that tire, and you could dial in what pressure you wanted, it would inflate to that and then stop. I loved it, wish I could find THAT.

The one I have kinda works like that in an analog sorta way, but hard with the small rotary gauges to get it exactly what I want and to spec.

Tried the oil check thing for fun on the car and it seems to take forever to tell you the level and don't know how accurate that is. Stop making everything electronic darn it...except that tire inflator thing I want. =)
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      08-14-2013, 09:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigiggs View Post
I awoke to a low tire pressure warning . I quickly phoned my boss and informed him that I would be late coming into the office. took my car to the local tire shop.


Seriously, you don't know how to check your tire pressure?? If your a woman I can some what understand but still a bad reason.

LEARN something for yourself!
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      08-14-2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregthegr8 View Post

Tried the oil check thing for fun on the car and it seems to take forever to tell you the level and don't know how accurate that is. Stop making everything electronic darn it...except that tire inflator thing I want. =)
You have to wait until the oil is up to operating temperature or 212 degrees. Then it'll give you a reading immediately. Make sure you're stopped and on flat ground.
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      08-14-2013, 10:32 PM   #17
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My car isn't even half a year old and I got the lower tire pressure warning maybe a month ago. Went to the gas station looked at the wheels, noticed they all looked good so I put in the air to the factory specs, cleared the warnings and haven't gotten another warning since. Just FYI all the specs are on the door and the gauges are on the compressors at the gas station. Was never shown this but it really isn't difficult, unless you know you did something or your tires are clearly shredded your first stop should always be to a compressor (gas station) and see if you can clear it with a quarter.
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      08-15-2013, 06:42 AM   #18
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You also need a pressure gauge you trust. I use an acutire ms4021b. It is available for about $10. The reviews I've seen we're positive. The gauge on my compressor reads low. I know to stop 3-4 psi below my target. Then check with the gauge. One of the nice things about having everything in a bag in the trunk is you can do all the steps quickly.
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      10-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
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Yup, a decent tire pressure guage is mandatory. Gas station pumps and portable pumps are rarely accurate. Check every 2 wks. Especially w/ runflats since they look the same regardless so just a visual inspection doesn't get it. When I picked up my car it had 0 air in the rt. rear and looked fine.
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      10-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #20
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I figured someone started this topic when cooler weather hits. I knew my warning would go off today after the weather dropped into the 40s last nite. I was right!
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      10-20-2013, 11:07 PM   #21
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I went to an advanced driving course a few years back. We were all told to inflate our tires to 36psi cold before arriving. While we were getting briefed, one of the instructors tested all of our tires, the pressures ranged from approx. 15psi to 50 psi.

That was our first lesson - DO NOT TRUST GAS STATION GUAGES AND CARRY YOUR OWN QUALITY GUAGE TO CHECK YOUR TIRES.
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      10-21-2013, 03:27 AM   #22
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One other thing to add to this old thread is... We all know(or should know) to check our tire pressure every few tanks of fuel. That is a given. BUT after we inflate the tires to the correct pressure(look on the driver's door jam for tire and load specs) you should ALSO reset your TPMS system. BC if you do not... the computer will not know what the new target tire pressures are. AND you can only reset the TPMS system when the car is idling but NOT moving using the BC button on the end of the turn signal stalk.
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