Flying High on Air Pressure Gauges

Owning and operating a vehicle begs a lot of maintenance, particularly when it comes to gauging the various pressures involved. Back in the day, up until around the 80’s in most places, gas station attendants would do it all for you in one, easy stop—in some cases for free, no less. If your tires were low on air, for instance, they would fill them right up while you sat comfortably in your car seat listening to the radio or doing the Sunday crossword. Slip the guy a tip through the window, and off you went, all spruced up and ready to go, without ever having to get out of the car.

Tires are one common example of why air pressure gauges are relevant in today’s society. Inaccurate pressure can cause inferior mileage, uneven tire wear and potential tire blow-outs—which can, of course, lead to serious accidents and injuries. To prevent these occurrences from happening it is very important to maintain proper tire pressure. Tires that do not carry enough air cannot maintain its shape and becomes flat when in contact with the road. This not only leads to potential tire failure, but also reduced tread life, as the low inflation causes the tire to bend more as it rolls. Alternately, an over-inflated tire is stiff and inflexible and the amount of surface area that is in contact with the road is significantly reduced, which could allow more damage to be inflicted when running over potholes or other obstacles on the road. Sometimes, though, high air pressure is preferred in tires, such as in car racing events, as it provides superior steering response. Providing such precise pressure cannot be identified through visual inspection and requires a quality air pressure gauge.

Air pressure gauges are tools used to measure the pressure of a gas within a confined space. Air pressure is also referred to as fluid pressure, as fluid is technically defined as a liquid or gas. Fluid and air pressure gauges measure the amount of concentration of molecules in terms of the forces that those molecules exert against the walls of their enclosure, such as a car tire.

Unfortunately, times have changed; gone are the days when nice, friendly men would do all the work for you for free. Now, when maintaining the various minor aspects of your vehicle, such as tire pressure, one must go through the oh-so-terrible inconvenience themselves. Aw shucks.

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