low tire

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Old 02-26-18, 01:15 PM
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low tire

While we were out today in my wife's altima the low tire light came on. The tire monitor said that driver's front tire was 8/lbs lower than the other 3. When we got home my tire gauge confirmed that. My question is I never felt the tire being low and I've always been able to detect when a front tire was down a few pounds just by driving it. I even let go of the wheel on a straight stretch and it didn't pull to the left any I'm more used to trucks than I am cars but can there be that much difference?
 
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Old 02-26-18, 01:19 PM
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You said you confirmed the 8 lbs difference with your gauge, so I'm not sure what the purpose of your question is. Maybe your current tires have stiffer sidewalls than what you are used to.
 
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Old 02-26-18, 01:19 PM
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I've noticed I often cannot tell when one of mine is low like that either.

Hate relying on the machine but it does seem more capable than I am....
 
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Old 02-26-18, 01:34 PM
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So maybe the low profile tires aren't affected much by pressure differences?
I'm trying to understand why I couldn't feel the difference between the 2 wheels.
 
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Old 02-26-18, 02:22 PM
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Radial tires are like that, not like the old bias ply tires.

Now you have to find the leak ....
 
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Old 02-26-18, 02:30 PM
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I can't remember the last time I had bias ply tires so I don't think that's it but think the low profile might be it.
I had planned to find/plug the leak this afternoon but I forgot I used my last plug a few months ago on the jeep and for some reason I never got more So I aired it up and left it in front of my shop in case I need to air it up again in the morning. I will get plugs tomorrow!
 
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Old 02-26-18, 02:45 PM
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Maybe you/wife hit a pothole, momentarily breaking the bead.
 
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Old 02-26-18, 02:55 PM
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I was driving today when the tire light came on [after we'd been out several hrs] so unless the tire was already low this morning it's more likely I picked up a nail or something. I didn't see anything in the tread but I didn't remove the tire for a good inspection. If it looses any air overnight I'll do that tomorrow when we get back from the hospital.
 
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Old 02-26-18, 04:46 PM
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I notice low pressure...even just 3-4 lbs, by the kind of "greasy" feeling going around corners or turning in the city. Even at low speed I can feel it's not quite as precise as usual. I hardly ever drive mine at freeway speeds...maybe 1 or 2 times in 6 months.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 02:59 AM
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That's the way I've always been and it puzzles me that I couldn't tell with her car. Even after I became aware of the low tire I couldn't feel it behind the wheel. I'd hate to think that I've become one of those drivers that goes down the road oblivious to a half flat tire
 
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Old 02-27-18, 04:23 AM
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Maybe some of the difference is due to front wheel drive? Steve
 
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Old 02-27-18, 04:35 AM
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I hadn't thought of that. While my wife's cars have all been front wheel drive and I do drive them occasionally, I normally drive rear wheel drive vehicles.

Gotta love my wife, for the most part she is intelligent but she asked me if she had to get 1 new tire, 2 or would all 4 need to be replaced Her car only has 10k on it.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 05:19 AM
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Some vehicles have traction control systems that are very sensitive to tire diameter.
Her question about replacing 4 tires may have a valid basis.
Radial tires (some more than others) are hard to tell if they are correct pressure just by looking at them or driving them.
What year/model Altima is it and what options does it have?
Newer cars with electronic sensor/controls are quite specific beasts - one size does not fit all.
Your original statement bears out the simple truth: "I never felt the tire being low and I've always been able to detect when a front tire was down a few pounds just by driving it. I even let go of the wheel on a straight stretch and it didn't pull to the left"
 
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Old 02-27-18, 05:31 AM
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I'm pretty sure that I remember having felt when I had a low tire, but, and I'm almost afraid to say this, I can't remember having a tire issue on any of my vehicles nor any that I was driving in over twenty years. Now the wife has had several tire problems in that time, and was able to feel them, including one on her current vehicle, on which she told me that she was sure she had a low tire, but the display said they were all fine. Turned out that she was exactly right, including which tire was low, and it was the monitor or computer that had a glitch. But I do imagine that it's harder to feel a low tire on a majority of today's vehicles due to finer tuned suspensions, lower profiles, stiffer sidewalls, etc. Of course it's the stiffer sidewalls that make it all the more important to maintain minimum tire pressure, because unlike an old bias ply that you could limp along to a filling station to get air, these tires get hot fast when low, and can blow the entire sidewall out.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 05:44 AM
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Just to be clear, I plan on plugging the tire later today. Unless removing the wheel reveals something unexpected I see no reason to replace the tire. It's a 2016 altima.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 08:57 AM
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I know zilch about automotive, but...I have read that both a patch and a plug is the way to go. ??
 
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Old 02-27-18, 09:38 AM
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I know zilch about automotive, but...I have read that both a patch and a plug is the way to go. ??
A patch is more permanent, but also requires removing the tire from the rim and having it remounted and balanced. A plug usually does fine as long as the hole isn't too large (i.e. it was caused by a screw or nail), and isn't near the sidewall.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 01:33 PM
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I was all prepared to plug the tire but found the leak was a staple near the edge of the tread so I went to our local tire shop with the hope he could patch it. I'm familiar with vulcanized patches but never saw one quite like what he used. The 1st patch had an extended nipple on it that he put thru the wallowed out hole. Once that was done he added another larger patch over it. $15 for the repair and balancing. I was worried I'd have to go across the mountain to buy a new tire. Walmart also sells that particular tire but they have to order it.

My wife's car came with lock nuts on the wheels. They left the invoice in the package containing the lock key - $25.98 I looked and the window sticker was still in the glove box with a line item of $189 for wheel locks. Wonder what the junior mechanic made putting them on. Glad she didn't pay the sticker price for the car!
 
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Old 02-27-18, 01:40 PM
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Before I quit wrench turning that was how we did it without the second patch.I have never heard of that.
 
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Old 02-27-18, 01:49 PM
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It's been quite awhile but all I'd ever seen was the regular vulcanized patch similar to what you'd use on a tube. First time I've seen the one with the 'nipple' but then this is the first time I paid to have a flat fixed in over 25 yrs..
 
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