I drive a 2011 Honda Civic VP sedan and every winter I change the tires for snow tires. Because I have separate rims for the snow tires [each with their own TPMS sensors], I must have the TPMS reset by my Honda dealer each time I make the change. It seems only a Honda dealer has the computer software necessary to reset the TPMS sensors, and it costs an hour’s worth of labour. Is there anywhere else I can take my car to have this done? – Steve, Suffern, N.Y.
Honda vehicles have to go back to a dealer to have the system reset – unless you can locate a tire shop with the proper equipment. Make some phone calls to various garages and, should you locate one that is equipped to do it, get a price for comparison purposes with Honda.
BREAKING IN STUDS
I understand there may be rules about travelling speed after putting on new studded grips. It has been suggested to me that a driver not exceed 50 km/h for 100 kilometres. Is there a place I can search for the correct specs for my tires? – Cheri
That is correct, newly studded tires require a break-in period of at least 100 kilometres at slow speeds (less than 50 km/h) to properly seat the studs and allow lubrication used to insert them to evaporate. Also, don’t do any hard braking or cornering during this period. Most people are not aware of this, and they do so at the risk of some of the studs being ejected from the tread.
One of my winter tires has a slow leak. Every two weeks, it looks low on air and I fill it up. My tires have only been through one winter so far, and don’t have a lot of kilometres on them. What can I do to fix this? Would a can of air/sealant work? Would a tire shop be able to see a problem that small? – Jason
The leak might well be around the valve stem or rim. You can try to find it yourself by spreading a soap-laden mixture around the stems and around the area where the tire meets the wheel. If nothing shows, take the wheel off and immerse it in a bathtub. Warning: spousal approval may be required. Slowly rotate the wheel/tire until you see bubbles where the air is escaping. Regardless, it may be necessary to take it to a tire shop to have it fixed. A good tire shop will likely be able to repair the hole if it has not gone through a critical part of the tire construction. All tire shops will have a tub where they can immerse the wheel and tire in case that bathtub-at-home-thing didn’t work out.
WINTER ROAD TRIP
I’m planning a winter road trip (Toronto to Los Angeles) starting in February and for about 60 days afterward. I’m stopping in Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and I’ll drive through Canada back to Ontario. Since I’ll be encountering various weather conditions, I need to know which tire will best suit my road trip? I have my winters on, but after Denver, the weather heats back up to 20 C or better. Should I leave Toronto with all-seasons? – Terry
Stick with the winters, you will lose some grip in the warmer climate and they will wear more quickly, but you will have the security for the colder portions of your trip and, at higher altitudes, snow is likely. If this is an annual event, you might consider a set of the new all-weather tires when it comes time to replace the winters. Like all-season tires, they are a compromise, but one suited to your driving situation.
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