It's just another example of guv'ment getting in your face. Soon you
will be told when to get up, what to have for breakfast, when to have a
crap, when to socialize etc. etc. etc...
Ya jis gotta git use(d) to it!
actually, this is frod's doing, not "guv'ment" per se. frod were the
ones who spent hundreds of millions of dollars convincing legislators
that it was a tire problem, not a fundamental vehicle problem when their
exploder killed and injured thousands of americans when their product
rolled and the roof collapsed, just because of a flat tire.
I think you are being unfair to Ford. Here are my thoughts:
1) 4 Door Explorers of the mid 1990s had a lower lower rollover death rate
than 4Runners, S10 Blazers, Troopers, and many other contemporary mid-sized
4 Door 4WD SUVs (see
2) 50% of 1996 Explorers were sold with Goodyear tires that did not
experience the same high incident of tire blowouts as Firestone tire
equipped Explorers from the same model year.
3) After Ford recalled the Firestone equipped Explorers and replaced the
tires, the tire failure rate dropped drastically.
4) The Ford recommended tire pressures were well above the minimum required
to safety support a properly loaded Explorer (even Firestone finally
acknowledged this). In fact other SUVs (4Runners and Pathfinders) of the era
had the same size tires with the same pressure recommendations.
5) The press made a big deal about front suspension, vehicle height, and J
manuver testing that was related to the Generation 1 Explorers. However,
most of the tire failures occured on Generation 2 Explorers that had a
completely different front suspension. Ironically, the Generation 1
Explorers that had the "bad" twin traction beam front suspension and the bad
handling characteristics had very good accident statistics (see
http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr3009.pdf ) - but then they
didn't suffer the sort of tire failures experienced by later models with the
improved front suspension and a wider track - go figure.
I suppose Ford did spend millions defending the Explorer. And Firestone
spent millions trying to smear Ford and deflect blame for faulty tires. If
you want to trash Ford for installing crappy Firestone tires on Explorers,
then I agree with you. But I do not agree that there was an inherent vehicle
design flaw that made 4 Door Explorers less safe than was typical for orther
similar sized SUVs of the era. Certainly Generation 1 and 2 Explorers are
not as safe as current models, but they were not less safe than
contemporary SUVs of similar size and cost. I do believe that the two door
Explorers (the Explorer Sports), particualrly the 2WD versions, were not as
safe as most 4 door SUVs becasue of the shorther wheelbase. The reduced
stability (comapred to 4 dr Explorers) and the fact that 2 Door 2 WD
Explorers were realtively cheap and attarctive to younger buyers are the
chief reasons that 2 Door Explorers had significantly worse accident
statistics than 4 door Explorers. However, even the relatively dangerous
95-97 2Dr 4WD Explorer Sport had a lower driver death rate than the
supposedly safe 96-97 4 dr, 4wd Toyota 4Runner. To be fair to Toyota, it is
important to note that the current generation 4Runner is one of (if not)
the safest mid/large SUV you can buy. On the other hand, the first
generation 4Runenr was a virtual death trap. Every generation improved (but
then the same is true for many vehicles).
It is always difficult to interpert accident statistics since they are a
influenced by both the vehicle design and the types of drivers that are
attracted to the vehicle. Explorers were among the first SUVs to attract
non-traditional truck buyers. I believe that lots of people who were brought
up driving traditional cars ended up driving Generation 1 and 2 Explorers
because of the SUV craze that started in the mid-90s. These peole were not
used to driving vehicles with a high center of gravity and therefore were
more prone to making mistakes that led to a rollover accident. However, the
fact remains that Explorers of that era had a relatively low accident death
rates. For sure death rates related to rollover type accidents were higher,
but overall death rates were lower than for many contemporary vehicles.
There are those that claim it is an advantage.....but it would be so
minor, it's not worth the hassle. Most anyone can have a home air
compressor, not many have bottled nitrogen (I have it at work where
there are advantages to using it in process and storage, but my car
"the dealer says". that should have been a clue right at the start -
dealers say lots of things which aren't true. in this case, it's called
"keep the customer coming back".
air works fine.
you don't want to turn it off - if you get a nail in your tire, it might
not flat immediately, but leak faster than your once-a-month schedule
and therefore be dangerous, both to you and other road users.
no and yes. tpms has a limit below which it triggers the alarm - it's
not an active gauge. you should continue to monitor actual tire
pressure in the normal way
It appears to be the latest thing. I looked at a Venza and it's tires
were filled with nitrogen. My car buddy says it's a load of hooey since
air is mostly nitrogen anyway. Using canned nitrogen instead of the gas
station air will keep moisture out of the tires. But I have a little
tire compressor that doesn't produce moisture.
OK, I hadn't talked to my car buddy before I posted my questions. He was
out of town. Air it is!
Good point. I just thought it was another un-necessary warning light but
I see what you're saying. I've read in some other forums that the
sensors can be pretty sensitive to minor pressure changes but it's just
another light and better safe than sorry.
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