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Friday, May 3, 2002

By Staff
Important to check tire pressure
To the editor:
Recently, I visited a couple of the quick lube places in Meridian to get my oil changed and saw some disturbing things being done to my vehicle. The attendant was letting air out of my tires and informed me that I had too much pressure in them. He said I should have about 32 lbs. and I had 45 lbs. in the front and 42 lbs. in the rear tires.
I had just returned from Jackson and the temperature was 92 degrees. The tires I have on my vehicle have a maximum of 44 lbs. cold pressure. After the attendant reduced the pressure and the tires cooled down overnight I only had 28 lbs. of air pressure (which left them severely under-inflated).
I normally run 42 in the front and 40 in the rear cold pressure, but due to summer conditions the tires had increased pressure due to heat buildup. Tires are designed to handle this pressure. An under-inflated tire will get hotter than one properly inflated, resulting in a blowout.
I was employed by BF Goodrich for many years until the closing of all company stores and I do know a little bit about tire pressure.
My experience in the tire business has proven that one of the least maintained parts on a vehicle is the tires. Most of us clean and shine our tires, but how many of you have taken the time to find how to properly check air pressure and look for signs and wear patterns that indicate a potential problem. Tires will not maintain themselves. You should take it on yourself to get educated on tire maintenance and safety. Over 80 percent of all tire failures is a result of lack of maintenance.
Some simple tips on checking tire pressure. First know what maximum and minimum pressure your tires require. This information is on the sidewall of your tire. If you don't know how to read the info on the
sidewall, contact a reputable tire dealer and get them to explain it to you. There are several Internet sites on tire safety with good info. You should never reduce pressure in a hot tire.
Always check your tire pressure in the morning before driving. Purchase a good tire gauge and learn how to use it. If you don't have an air compressor, here are some easy tips. Let's say your tires require 40 lbs. cold pressure. Check the pressure in each tire noting the pressure and position of tire. Let's say the right front front has 34 lbs. and the left front 36 lbs. Write this information down and go to a place where you can get air. Your pressure will have increased by driving. When you get to an air station, simply check the pressure again. You know you need to add 6 lbs. to the right front and 4 lbs. to the left front. After checking your pressure the second time, add the pounds you have written down for each tire to whatever the second reading is.
I've talked mostly about under-inflation, but over-inflation is just as dangerous. Always check your pressure in the mornings before you drive and do this at least once a month. Don't trust just anyone to check your tires.
Harold Akin
Comparing the fire department
To the editor:
According to The Meridian Star on March 21, our mayor said "The fire department has one of the lowest turnover rates of any department in the city of Meridian and it's had the lowest rate in nearly every year for the past eight or nine years. In fact, over the past three years the dire department has an average turnover rate of 7.1 percent.
Why must the fire department be compared to any other department since, in my opinion, the fire department is truly unique?
Why would we look in the past eight or nine years or even the past three years when our interest is in the past 12 months?
In my guestimation, about 11 senior, experienced firefighters have left during the last nine months. So, now, do the division. If all the leaving firefighters were the "best trained," what shape must our fire department be in presently? Do the newly hired firefighters come to us with the following credentials:
1. Senior firefighter, 7 years experience, 35 fire related courses; 2. Senior firefighter, 51/2 years experience, 34 fire related courses, AA degree in fire protection technology.
Absolutely not. These two examples are two of the 11 that have left our MFD in the last nine months. What do you want to bet that the other nine firefighters would fall into the same category.
Call or write your councilperson.
Pam Deitz