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Issue Checking Tire Pressure At Costco
Old 10-08-2017, 04:42 PM   #1
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Issue Checking Tire Pressure At Costco

I usually check the pressures at Costco and it is generally uneventful. Today after checking/filling 3 of the tires, the air supply hose started pulsing high pressure bursts of gas. I called a worker who came over (by now the pulsing had ceased, perhaps because he had done something?) who said I should just
hold the hose gently against the tire valve and not press and slide that locking ring for a more secure connection.

In the past I have found that if I disconnect immediately when the beeping starts (indicating setpoint has been reached) the tire pressure (measured by
my gauge) can vary by 1 psi so I have tended to keep the connection for a few seconds longer. Can this longer connection have caused the pulsing (it never has in the past)? If you fill w/o the sliding locking ring activated, are the tkre pressures reliable and at set point?
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Today after checking/filling 3 of the tires, the air supply hose started pulsing high pressure bursts of gas.
Beano will stop that.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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I don't have the answer to your question, but my MIL just pulls up in front of the Costco tire shop and a mechanic checks/fills her tires. It's not self-serve at all. Maybe that's just her particular Costco (she is in San Antonio)?
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:14 PM   #4
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The pulsing might have been caused by the air tank's pump operating briefly to refill the tank.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
The pulsing might have been caused by the air tank's pump operating briefly to refill the tank.
Don't Costcos operate off nitrogen tanks?
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
... the tire pressure (measured by
my gauge) can vary by 1 psi ...
This is completely negligible. Pressure will vary 1psi with approximately 10 degrees change in air temperature, so if the tires are hot from driving you will end up with a lower pressure when they cool. This is also why all of our tire pressure warning lights come on in cold winter weather and we have to add air or at least drive a little until the tires warm up and the light goes off. It is also the reason that the mfg. recommended tire pressures are only approximate as none I have seen state a temperature for the measurement.

I would worry about 1psi when I was racing sports cars and monitoring tire temperatures. On street cars if I am within two or three psi I don't worry about it at all. I do tend to let it go high for a little less rolling resistance at the expense of ride.

Re pulsating, etc. you really don't care what the Costco hardware is doing, only with the tire pressures you end up with; I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:20 PM   #7
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I don't use costco to fill my tires, but whenever I fill my tires I use my own gauge to check the pressure as I know it's accurate by comparing it to some others. This way at least something is constant.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:27 PM   #8
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This is completely negligible. Pressure will vary 1psi with approximately 10 degrees change in air temperature...
So given that, a football filled with 12.5 to 13.5 psi in the locker room prior to a football game and then brought out onto a 50F football field in January in Massachusetts would lose about how much psi? But I digress.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:40 AM   #9
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13 x 460/530 = 11.3


About 2 psi.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:30 AM   #10
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So given that, a football filled with 12.5 to 13.5 psi in the locker room prior to a football game and then brought out onto a 50F football field in January in Massachusetts would lose about how much psi? But I digress.
Dude, from a fellow New Englander... we need to just let that one go.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:50 AM   #11
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In a car that should be filled with 32 psi, anywhere between 30 and 35 is good. If you want slightly better gas mileage, go to 40 or whatever the maximum is on the tire.

I would guess your air gauge, unless it is very expensive, is not even accurate to 1 psi.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:01 AM   #12
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Why not just buy a cheap tire inflator and a Pressure tester and DIY.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:08 AM   #13
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In a car that should be filled with 32 psi, anywhere between 30 and 35 is good. If you want slightly better gas mileage, go to 40 or whatever the maximum is on the tire.

I would guess your air gauge, unless it is very expensive, is not even accurate to 1 psi.
Not to "whatever the maximum is on the tire". The car's suspension is designed for a range of tire pressures, and going to the max of the tire might cause handling problems. That's the safe limit for the tire, not the car/tire/suspension combo.

Follow the car manual, and do not exceed the limit of the tire (which is unlikely - tire limits are generally higher than most car specs).

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Old 10-09-2017, 08:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Why not just buy a cheap tire inflator and a Pressure tester and DIY.
My thought too, why not get an accurate tester and give a quick check after inflation.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #15
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I usually target about 2 psi higher than the manufacturer recommendation on the door jamb label.... I presume that the extra 2 psi slightly increases mileage with negligible impact on performance.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:42 AM   #16
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Most likely the "set point" you said you dialed in was reached and a mechanical valve release kicks in and the cycle repeats.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:55 AM   #17
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I am not familiar with the Costco self-serve air machine, but it sounds to me like the pressure regulator was kicking in and out, as it was at or near the setpoint. So instead of a smooth shutoff, it pulsated some.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #18
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Actually a much better solution is to buy a 12 v tire pump for around $20. Then you can inflate the tires at home before the car is moved in the morning. Also you can buy a good 2 inch round tire gauge from Qeeph for about $20 on amazon. (Much more accurate than the 1 inch gauge on tire pumps). Once or twice this has saved me with a slow leak from having to change a tire, pump it up and then drive to the tire shop.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:35 AM   #19
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Buy a pump and keep it in your car. You can get a good one for around $30 and you never have to mess with gas stations/service stations again. It plugs into your cigarette lighter (do they even have those in cars anymore ? ) or your auxiliary jack.

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Old 10-09-2017, 09:40 AM   #20
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We have a Discount Tire about a mile from the house so I just pull in there once a month or so for the free air service. Not self-serve and I usually have to wait 5 minutes or so for someone to come out, but works way better than the coin operated air machines at the gas stations these days. I also buy my tires there as their prices are good and their service is excellent.
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