Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Product Review

-- Product Review -- 

Properly inflated tires save money, improve handling, extend tire life, reduce fuel consumption, and reduce uncomfortable bouncing and vibration from uneven surfaces. According to Verona Chadwick of the Get A Life Sales company: “Experts recommend checking your vehicle's tire pressure every month to ensure a safe, comfortable ride and maximum fuel efficiency.”

In our household that chore is up to my husband Dave who’s taken the responsibility to check our wheelbarrow, bicycles, RV trailer and Jeep tires, among others around the house from the lawnmower to various wheeled tools and gates. It isn’t that I am unwilling to do the chore, it is just such a difficult thing to do. You have to balance your body in awkward positions, try to read the pressure gauges that tend to be dirty or foggy, and depending on the weather or time of day, this can be a very difficult chore indeed.  Not all pressure gauges are easy to use as well, trying to get that perfect seal and not lose air from the tires.

It was recently our 25th anniversary, so I thought taking on the review project for the TravelSafer Digital Tire Gauge would be a perfect gift for my husband. I first heard from Verona Chadwick around mid June and once the details were worked out we placed the order for the product.

Amazon’s order confirmation offered a guaranteed delivery date of July 14th, however we picked it up on July 18th, which happened to be the next time we were at the border (we’re a few miles north of the US border). The product was shipped in a 9” X 11”, yellow, bubble-padded envelope. The product itself was housed in a plastic sleeve with a paperboard backing – I was pleased to see that the product was easily removed from the packaging without the need for sharp knives, and the packaging was easily separated for recycling. I was also pleased to see that the product was ready to use, right out of the box – you don’t have to run out and get special batteries or charge it up or anything.

There are several aspects about this tire gauge that sets it above its peers. Firstly – because of the illuminated nozzle and LCD screen it is really easy to use night or day. The light and display screen will automatically shut off in 20-60 seconds in order to save the 3-volt lithium ion battery’s lifespan. Alternatively you can manually turn it off by holding the on button down for 3 seconds.

The gauge is lightweight and has a compact design that will easily slip under the car seat, in the glove box or backpack, etc. – it is small enough that you can operate it with just one hand. It has a comfortable handgrip, which includes a serrated spot for the thumb as well. There’s even a hole in the handle for hanging on a pegboard or some other mechanism. This product weighs about 2.2 ounces, with a size (in inches) of about 5.5 X 2 X 1. It is silver in color with a blue LED light and screen. Unfortunately the gauge is made in China, which has fewer environmental laws than most other countries, and this also means a larger impact on the environment simply due to shipping.

To use, simply press the on/off button, wait for the display to light up and listen for a bleep sound – then place the nozzle over the valve, press firmly to ensure a good seal, then remove and read the display. It is that easy.

The instructions say that you can use this gauge on any tire (trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, wheelbarrows and wheeled tools or gates, etc.) – so I had Dave test that out around the house, workplace, garage, garden shed and workshop. It not only fit all the nozzles without the hassle of getting a good seal, it was easy to see what you are doing and it also produced accurate readings.

The gauge has 4 ranges that you can switch from with just a simple press of a button:

Psi - pounds per square inch

Bars – bars of pressure


Kpa - Kilopascals

I wasn’t familiar with some of those ranges so I did an online search and fount out some interesting information. According to “At sea level, Earth's atmosphere is pressing against the surface with a force of 1 kilogram per square centimeter. This pressure is identified as one "bar," and is equal to 100 Kilopascals or 14.7 pounds per square inch of pressure.”

Dave explained to me that the proper inflation for your tires would be indicated on the vehicle tire placard, certification label or in the owner's manual. Seasonal and environmental changes (hot, cold, snow, etc.) will affect the pressure required in your tires. Over inflation can increase the odds of your tires getting cut or punctured or broken by impact, whereas under inflated tires can cause excessive heat buildup and internal structure damage. You should check the tires and your spare tires once a month and also just before going on a long trip – and check them before you have driven the car, i.e. after parking overnight, to get a more accurate reading. Be sure to store seasonal tires in bags and under cover where they won’t be exposed to the sun and other elements. There are special tire covers you can purchase for parked vehicles. At the end of your tire’s life – recycling, reusing or repurpose are great options, but call around and see if anyone in your area can retread them as well. (*For ideas on the end of life for your tires check out our Trash Talk book series, book #1)
The company is so confident in their product that it is backed by an airtight 100% satisfaction, lifetime guarantee. While the TravelSafer Digital Tire Gauge isn’t available on for Canadians, it can be ordered from where it had an original list price of $17.99 (US), but is currently on sale for $13.99 (US).

Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: 

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