Picture the scene. My wife and I were heading home late one night in the Qashqai, down a relatively quiet A3, from an event in central London. Suddenly, at about 50mph, the tyre pressure-warning light on the dash came on, indicating a problem with the front driver’s side tyre.
Alas just what the problem was, or how big it was, it didn’t specifically say, and driving along I couldn’t see that I had the option to press the small 'settings' button on the steering wheel, which then displays a further very useful screen that highlights all four tyres and their respective pressures.
Pulling in to a handily placed 24-hour service station, I hastily checked the pressure, expecting to find a flat or rapidly deflating tyre. I was somewhat surprised, therefore, to find the reading was a respectable 2.1 bar, or roughly 30psi, only 0.2 bar or 3psi off its recommended setting.
Pumping it up to 2.3 bar/33psi solved the problem (although the warning light did inexplicably stay on for a short while afterwards). The handbook recommends 33psi front, and 30psi rear, but a little experimentation has shown me the Qashqai steers and handles slightly better at 35psi front and 32psi rear, with no noticeable degradation in ride quality or economy.
So our first warning light incident has passed without drama – so far the tyre has retained its pressure.
By Mark Pearson
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