Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Doggie Damage?

2013-10-16T08:00:00Z Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Doggie Damage?Sharon L. Peters CTW Features
October 16, 2013 8:00 am  • 

Q: I’m a dog walker at the animal shelter, and they’ve recently posted signs everywhere saying, “Don’t let dogs urinate on tires.” When I asked why, the answer was, “There were complaints.” I agree that letting a dog pee on someone’s tire is rude, and it probably means you’re not paying enough attention to the dog you’re walking. But seriously? I drive through lakes of nasty stuff just going to work every day and my tires have not turned to jelly yet. A little stream of wee going won’t decrease a tire’s life expectancy or even cause a stain, right? Why the drama?

A: Well, you’re right that dog urine will not cause tires to dissolve beneath the car. It’s possible, however, the tires will smell bad for a little while, depending on the strength/concentration of the urine (the length of time since the last potty break and amount of water consumed) and the individual dog’s chemistry (some, as lawn grass aficionados know, are considerably more potent than others).

There is a strong feeling among some experts that the ammonia in the urine damages or streaks the luster on the wheel rims, especially aluminum ones. Other experts say that’s ridiculous, pointing out that cars drive through acidic substances regularly and rims suffer no damage. And then there’s the third group: legions of people who believe their damaged rims are 100 percent the result of leg lifting.

All that said, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “it’s rude.” And some people find the behavior hugely inexcusable.

It’s pretty easy, if a dog is leashed, to keep it from doing its business on someone’s tires. With so much rudeness circulating about these days, and so many incredibly short fuses, it’s worth avoiding this conflict.

Q: A couple of years ago Toyota and Ford announced they would be working together to develop hybrid technologies for rear-wheel-drive light-duty trucks that will hold up under hard drivers. What have they come up with? I like the idea of a joint effort.

A: They’ve come up with nothing. In August the companies announced they would be pursuing future efforts independently for that particular concept. They left the door open to future collaborations.

© CTW Features

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email

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