Friday, February 22, 2013

Take Care of Your Tires!

Rewind about 12 hours; its 3 AM and I am quick charging at Fife DCFC at Tahoma Market.  I am doing so because I dont have the range to make it home and no, its not my habit to stop somewhere to charge after a long night of work.

Rewind;  30 hours. Its Thursday morning having finished short job and recharging car, decided to quantify how much tire pressure affects range. Had planned a 50 mile jaunt for lunch with SO but her work schedule didnt jive so it was postponed until tonight. Forgot to restore tire pressure...

Normally I run pressures at 42 PSI all around. Nissan recommends 36 PSI so I tried it.  Now, last night's job was in Puyallup so it was drive there, work. Swing by office to drop off travel logs for the week and then drive home. This equates to about 68 miles and have done it many times.

Now, maybe this was a "perfect storm" scenario but either way, after dropping off paperwork at office, I see I have 22 miles of estimated range and 27 miles from home. a quick calculation told me that even 55 mph (at 3 am its not like I am holding up traffic) would put me a bit short.  So, it was go to Fife (back tracking 5 miles) for a 20 minute charge up.

Pressure works on STP (Standard temperature and Pressure) which means if the temperature drops so does the pressure. In an EV, that could mean disaster in Winter. So, the moral of the story:

dont experiment with required transportation needs on a time schedule


Check your tire pressure during Winter to make sure your pressures are up to snuff.  in my case, its difficult to quantify the range loss due to it raining and other factors but guessing it was close to 6-8 miles or so.

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