Release the pressure, or don't

Hey guys,

This week's chitchat is brought to you by a friend of Bleeding Tarmac, ARA car 609  driver's, Keenan Phillips --> Go give him a follow @elevententhskracing!

Keenan sent me a message looking for some information on tire pressure gauges and temperature probes. He is looking to get better data during races. Also, he wanted to know how to deal with a potential inaccurate gauge. 

To be honest, I had never thought much about these two tools. So I started to dig:

Tire Pressure Gauge

First step is to determine if you prefer a digital or an analog gauge. If analog, they come in 2.5 to 4.5 sizes, reading in 0.5 or 1 psi increments, and most glow in the dark. As far as determining the capacity of the cage, the rule of thumb is that gauges work best in the middle of their range. In this situation, Keenan needed a 60psi gauge since his target is in the 30s.

Tire Pressure Gauge Calibration

Next, Keenan had experienced problems with an inaccurate gauge and he wanted to know if there was a way to calibrating it. To be honest I had never heard about calibrating a tire pressure gauge. Looking into it, I can't find a way to test a gauge unless you send it to a specialized facility or buy a multi thousand dollar tool. Some digital gauges won't let you do such adjustment either. From what I have read, the first step is to buy a quality brand. 

I found an older video of someone demonstrating how to home calibrate (ish) an analog gauge : 

If you don't feel like going through all that, some recommend to compare your gauge to a known accurate gauge and mentally adjust your reading on your gauge by the difference. I do the same for my hygrometer for my piano, for example, my room reader doesn't allow calibration, once compared to an accurate hygrometer, I now know I need to add +3% when I look at it. 

Tire Needle temp probe

Through the years, I've mostly seen people using infrared at the track, but seems like the probe is the way to go if you want a reading that is un-affected by outside factors. Longacre pyrometers will range between $160 all the way up to $530 if you want integrated memory, or $750 with a fancy tablet. The idea is to take readings in different locations to get a precise measurement and then adjust accordingly. I am far from knowing a lot on this topic, but read Setting Air Pressures for HPDE from NASA Speed News if you want to learn more.

Alright, I am done writing for now.

You guys have been keeping me very busy with all your orders and I can’t say thank you enough for the continued support. You're all awesome!

Talk soon!

— Evelyne