Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Regulations get in my way

We bought a used set of alloy wheels for our Honda Element. The stock steelies that came on our LX started to surface-rust, and we wanted something that looked more presentable.


Rock on! We get to sport new shiny wheels, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Our Element came with TPMS radios in those rusty steel wheels. So until we move those TPMS valves to our new shiny alloys, we have to stare @ an annoying TPMS light on the dashboard. Hopefully our carputer’s discontent has no adverse affects aside from the dummy light.

In the basement was a set of Eibach springs I’ve been waiting to install, so I decided to go the whole nine yards - install the springs, the new wheels, and finish it all off with new tires (both the steelies and the new alloys have old rubber) and get an alignment.

The TPMS annoyance follows us all the way to the tire shop because we need to pack all 4 steelies into the car (since they contain the TPMS units). The shop will remove and dispose of the steel wheel tires (which will cost me) to gain access to the TPMS radios. Then, the shop will move the TPMS units to the new alloys (which will cost me). And then they can finish the task I’m really interested in, which is to install new tires on the alloys and align the Elements new kicks.

So what has government-mandated TPMS done for me? It has complicated car maintenance and added to my costs. What’s TPMS done for you?