Q--Where walk the expression "kicking the tires" originate, and what"s the purpose of kicking tires? J.T., Des Plaines

A--After pausing a minute to collect our thoughts, we couldn"t fathom where that phrase originated, therefore we began calling old friends and associates in the industry.

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Each drew a blank, or at least professed to draw a blank, stating the they were too young come hazard even a guess.

So we called Goodyear tires & Rubber Co. In Akron and spoke v Chuck Sinclair, whose task is windy relations and who obviously must have actually been inquiry this inquiry a million times, considering he works for the world"s biggest tiremaker.

Sinclair, however, to be stumped but available to help.

"I will pose this question to our marketing and engineering staffs," that said, "and castle surely will have actually the answer. Get back to girlfriend in one hour."

A mainly later, Sinclair called.

"Your fax number, please."

So here are answers from Goodyear"s high-paid designers who design and develop tires and high-paid marketing professionals who devise means to offer those tires:

- In the early on days, as soon as autos common the road with horses, it was an easy method for equine riders to gain manure off their shoes. When motorists spotted castle doing it, they assumed it was a method to test tires.

- The exercise started with truck motorists who bring a tool dubbed a tires billy, which each other a billy club. Lock strike the tire to view whether it has enough air.

- It"s a way of determining whether a car is road worthy and also dates come the early on days that trucking. Through so plenty of tires top top one axle, a tire might look inflated but be flat due to the fact that the various other tires were holding that up. So girlfriend kicked every the tires to recognize whether you had actually a flat.

- Kicking tires to be a way to vent in the at an early stage years the motoring, when tires would regularly go flat and delay your journey.

- that is derived from the Latin E tira kikium, "a kick for good luck."

- due to the fact that most of united state don"t understand anything around a car, we feel it need to be agree if it"s not transformed after us slam the doors and also kick the tires.

- as soon as cars supplied balloon tires, customers knew the tires would quickly go flat. To ensure they could at the very least drive turn off the lot, they"d kick the tires.

- It began as a prank in Texas as soon as tires had actually tubes. Teens knew if lock kicked a tire through cracked sidewalls simply right, the tube would certainly protrude.

- It diminished the number of lawsuits native slapping salesmen.

Q--I check out with interest your column about Parktronic in ~ Mercedes (Cars, July 10). What happens when you shot to parallel park? K.O., Northbrook

A--Parktronic is standard on the 1997 Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and also a $960 option on the sedan and will be included on the 1998 design E-Class as well.

Parktronic offers sonar-like sound waves to sense objects ahead and also behind.

When you"re moving less than 10 m.p.h., two liquid crystal displays in the dash close to the air ducts and also two above the rear home window illuminate in bar graph fashion. The bars readjust color the closer you gain to one object. When you obtain within 10 customs of that (front or rear), an alarm sounds.

Parktronic alerts drivers when they gain too nearby to various other vehicles or such things as bikes, strollers, kids, pets, bushes or trees.

The National facility for health and wellness Statistics says about 400 deaths occur each year from driveway backups alone.

Mercedes spokesman Jim Koscs said Parktronic was emerged as a parking help in Europe, wherein spaces are even tighter 보다 they space here. It allows you to park there is no banging bumpers with the vehicle ahead or behind or damaging head or taillights as soon as trying come parallel park.

However, since the beeping alarm can drive friend crazy as soon as parallel parking, you deserve to turn the sound off. But the irradiate bars proceed to offer as a warning.

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If girlfriend think the Parktronic alarm is a pain, take into consideration the embarrassment as soon as you struggle that car ahead or behind and collection off that is alarm.