It’s rainy season again here in the Philippines and for people especially those who drive cars (or any other form of wheeled transportation) this means being more aware of another hazard – slippery roads. On top of staying on alert during rainy season drive, it is also imperative that drivers keep a well-maintained vehicle and give extra attention to the tires which greatly affect critical driving factors such as maneuverability and braking distance. And so yesterday, I did just that and had my 4-year old tires replaced, all four of them — courtesy of the red plastic armless bandit.
There are 3 quick ways to determine when a tire needs replacement:
Tire gauge. Reputable car service shops has this measuring tool so leave it to them unless you want to pick one for personal use (though I have yet to see one being sold in stores like Ace Hardware).
Penny test. Howstuffworks.com offers a guide on how to do this using an American penny but do not worry if you don’t have one as Goodyear Servitek leaflets suggest using a 5-peso coin as an alternative so it should work just fine.
Tire wear indicators. Most automotive tires have tire wear bands that be- come obvious when the tire is about to be replaced. One can go for the quick visual check or the tire mark test but either way will tell if it is time to head to the nearest Goodyear Servitek tire shop.
The last time I was in a tire shop was more than five years ago and I noticed yesterday that technology continues to make a car mechanic’s life easier. Tire alignment is now wireless, thanks to high-tech cameras and software, any trained (take note) mechanic can now perform camber and toe diagnosis and alignment in a jiffy.
The funny thing however with my recent Goodyear Servitek experience is that I have proven once again that technology alone isn’t an assurance of a satisfying work. I can tell all about it but then again this tire talk is already tiring enough. Anyway, to make a long story short, while technology has made the car mechanic’s life easier, irate customers remain a big challenge. Hmm. Can anyone from MIT solve this? I can be your guinea pig.
Drive safely folks!
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (In the next few days, I’ll be availing five free Starbucks frappucinos .)