The current thread on "Trailer Tire Pressure" prompts me to pass on a "tip" in regard to something that I learned (kind of accidentally) that I think is worth considering. And, yes, it's raining here AGAIN in the Pacific Northwest and perhaps this might be written as a result of what some folks might call "winter cabin fever", or as one of my sons tells me,......."dad,....you need more to do"! Maybe so.......
Anyway, these so-called "non-contact infrared thermometers" are a really handy thing to have. And, by the way, Harbor Freight Tools (where I bought mine on sale for $19.95) whom I would agree with many that a lot of what they sell is of questionable quality, mine works really well, and has done so for several years now.
One of several uses I have found for this is, by leaving it handy to reach in the cab of my pickup, when traveling, especially when pulling a trailer long distances and driving all day, I do a quick "walk-around" to check tires at a gasoline stop. My Dad taught me to do this by just laying the back of my hand on each tire to check if any of the tires might be getting warm, which of course is an indication of the tire losing air.
Now then, as good as a "tip" as that was (....thanks Dad) the infrared thermometer makes it even better. And it occurred to me that it might be interesting to note how much tire temperature might vary from one tandem-axle trailer tire to another, due to slight under-inflation.
Anyway, a good "safety-check",.... interesting, beneficial, and maybe even kinda' fun,....FWIW,....harold
And yeah,.....it's still raining here,.....!!!
And you can use it to check individual cylinder exhaust temperatures.
Great tip, Harold. I've posted a variation of this on this Forum many times.
I would add that when checking the tire tread temperature, which I do at each stop, I also check the temperatures of the wheel hubs. This will warn you of an impending bearing failure. And, I check the tread temps on my tow vehicle as well, for the reasons stated.
Also, I use it to check the temperatures from the top to the bottom of my radiator. This is a perfect indication of how well the radiator is cooling, as well as telling me if the engine is getting too hot (boiling).
Wow, under twenty bucks. When I bought mine, a fair number of years ago, I was glad to get it for somewhat over $60. At that time, prices had recently dropped to under a hundred. It might sit in the shop for a year or two. Then something will come up, and it pays for itself all over again.
A few years ago, my modern POS developed a dead cylinder. The modern sealed system did not allow for the old simple methods of shorting spark plugs etc, so I determined which cylinder was dead by starting the engine cold, and checking all the exhaust manifold ports repeatedly until I found which one wasn't warming up as fast as all the rest (the flow of gasses and metal conductivity made them all hot eventually). Worked. Found the dead cylinder, and located a failed connection on the coil-pack.
For trailer wheel bearings, (about half the time) I routinely grab each hub with my hand when I pull in and stop. It does let you know when one begins to develop trouble.
I use mine a lot, its a handy tool for checking brake drag on vehicles.
I remember abot 20 years or more ago our fire department got this cairns Iris helmet. IR was a great tool. It was a camera on the side of the helmet with a battery pack we wore on a belt. Both were pretty heavy. I believe we paid 25 grand for it. Yes IR has come down in price. The hand held units we have today are less than $1500.
Dallas you have too many zeros.
Drop all of them and you’ll be close
I'm still in the Neanderthal era, touching the tires and hubs with the back of my hand.
But one thing I've noticed and never compared notes with anyone else is the difference in tire temp between the sunny side and shady side of the vehicle. Is it just my imagination, or are the tires on the sunny side a little warmer ?
Now Fred, you are talking emergency services. Its all way WAY overpriced. $500,000.00 for a tanker? Come on! No it really 25 grand is what that helmet cost. We just purchased 2 hand held IR last year. They are great for checking heat loss around windows and doors in winter in your house.
Yes the IR Thermometers are great for checking a cold (skipping) cylinder on a diesel engine, a binding caliper on a disc brake system. I used it at the garage I worked at to find an overheating ceiling lamp ballast that was still working but stinking up the shop. Mine left the toolbox years ago and lives in my modern pickup so it is with me while I am pulling a trailer also.
AS far as trailer tire temps, I got a Tire pressure and temp system. It gives tire pressure and temp as you are driving. I will not pull a trailer without one. The one I have I can move the sensors from one trailer to the next. Dan
Dan, could name the unit you have. I would like to see about getting one.
Of course it is a invaluable tool for servicing air conditioning plus checking the cats butt temperature when bored.
You are absolutely correct about the sunny side tires being warmer. In fact, drag racers will cover their sunny side tires in the staging lanes when inching forward towards the start line, waiting for their turn to line up for the race. They do this to keep the tire temps as close to equal as possible for launch.
I have a really nice one that an AC technician left at my house.
I called the company to let them know and they said they'd send someone to pick it up the next day.
They didn't show, so I called again and the same thing happened. Tried one more time....same thing.
After that, it became mine.
I've used it over the years to check for dead cylinders and all sorts of things automotive.
I bought one from hf and used it to track coolant temp on my rebuilt touring engine during break in.
Mine works from -58 to + 2102 F bought for Babbitt work accurate to 1 percent on every thing I have compared to-----very handy for many things.
Jerry: Here is where I got mine. I had one of their old systems, then upgraded to the 507 with Flow Thru sensors. These you can change the batteries yourself. I have found these people are good to do business with. Dan
Paul Vitco, please tell us where that instrument came from. Dave in Bellingham,WA
David, did checking on Amazon---I wanted the checking range the tool had as I remember it cost about 40.00
Paul V, thank you sir, And Merry Christmas! Dave in Bellingham,WA