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Old 12-15-2008, 06:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tire pressure sabotage

A few years ago I was browsing through Home Power's webpage and I read something about getting others to switch from regular light bulbs to energy efficient CF's. Someone would go to a store or restaraunt and, when nobody was looking, unscrew an old bulb and put in a CF they'd brought. Then someone would come by the place every now and then a see whether the owner got the idea or not. If so, he saved lots of money, electricity and emissions. If not, at least one bulb is using less electricity.

I got a similar idea aimed at reducing fuel consumption: Go to a parking lot with a pump and pressure gauge and pump up a few tires which are grossly underinflated. Go back home knowing that someone is going to use less gas.

I can see the downsides:
- First, it's probably illegal to tamper with someone's property.
- Second, by changing the pressure in someone's tires without their knowedge, you should take responsibility for anything that happens because of altered handling etc.

In my opinion, the owner of the car should not only know that the tires have been inflated over the sticker pressure, but he should also understand why. But not everyone can, or is willing to, understand.

The discussion is open.

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll personally stick to educating people on why they should inflate their tires, rather than actually doing it myself. I'm not personally willing to take responsibility for whatever crap someone could do to cause injury while blaming it on the modified pressure of his/her tires.

A novel concept though.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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me too

When I work on cars for others I inflate their tires for them. (only to sidewall max) Even if they brought it to me for a water pump.
I tell them what Ive done, and tell them why.
None have come back to tell me anything bad. (The car drives hard, i got no traction..you get it)
I have several now that come by on the weekends so we can do mods to the cars.
So maybe this belongs in "Success Stories" as well.
S.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know about where you live, but in certain parts of NYC and the South messing with someones car in a parking lot can get you shot.

If economic times were better I could see shopping centers offering a roving tire inflation service to their shoppers. When someone parked they could be offered a pressure check and fill as a free service. It should probably be only to manufacturer's recommended pressures, but that would still save a lot of gas. There could even be a little computer print-out of their tire pressures before and after, and estimated fuel savings. Neat idea.

Last edited by instarx; 12-15-2008 at 11:24 AM..
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroschultz View Post
I have several now that come by on the weekends so we can do mods to the cars.
That's cool - "efficiency bees".

This is an interesting idea. Even if all you did was check tire pressure and leave a business card size note on the windshield if they're underinflated, (with reasons to pump up), that would be good.

People are protective of their stuff though - even just checking their pressures without permission would certainly get some upset.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i agree with the "business card" idea.

something like:

"have you checked your tire pressure lately?
under-inflated tires can affect gas mileage by **mpg

www.ecomodder.com"


but just slip it under the windshield if you see an under-inflated tire, i wouldn't act.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's what I had in mind: A LOT of cars ride on underinflated tires with their owner not having any idea about it. If the pressure came down overnight, then they would have to check regularly. But air seeps out very slowly, usually slow enough that the tires aren't totally flat when the next tune-up is due, and then the service station takes care of it.

I got this conspiracy idea while pumping my father-in-law's tires. Ever since I start and finish my day with reading ecomodder.com, I check tire pressure weekly. I got his tires to 40psi (max is 44), mine to 45psi (51 max). I haven't told him that his tire pressure is over the sticker value, but he hasn't complained. One of his tires goes from 40psi down to 25-30 in a week, but I'm still not sure if I should tell. This is because he is against any kind of modding ("If the factory did it like that, then that's the best way to do it"). If he finds out and says "NO!", then he'll be permanently riding on semi-flats. On the other hand, having low pressure all around is probably safer than each wheel being different. That's why I pay more attention to his tires than mine. Plus he does way more milage per week than I do, so keeping his tires topped saves him gas. I will tell him about the seeping tire, and start a casual conversation about pressure in general and so on. But so far it's a conspiracy. I wonder if he'd notice a kammback?
Quote:
Originally Posted by instarx View Post
I don't know about where you live, but in certain parts of NYC and the South messing with someones car in a parking lot can get you shot.
I spent many years in NC and know that people throw beer cans at you just for riding your bike on the same road as their truck
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 12-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Piwoslaw -

I like the idea, but like others said, it could be taken the wrong way. This idea reminds me of the Meter Fairy :



I saw a much funnier version of the meter fairy on jackass :

Watch Jackass Video meter fairy from jackass season 2 Online | Browse Categories | jackassworld

It's actually illegal to be a meter fairy, at least in the jackass city (Oregon I think)! I've been thinking of making a "flat tire sign" for when I see cars with low tire pressure. Sometimes it's hard to roll down windows and tell them, so a sign would be better.

CarloSW2
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

What matters is where you're going, not how fast.

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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An interesting thought but from my point of view..

Education is the best tool to use. Who knows , maybe that person will tell some one else and spread the word. But they will only do that they know about it.

Some people are hyper sensitive about someone else touching their car.
You may well end up in a parking lot argument. Just watch as Christmas approaches how ridiculously petty some people can get over food and parking spaces.

I don't do something for someone if they can do it for themselves.
Happy to help out with advice and assist if needed but unpaid labour I am not.

Cheers , Pete.

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