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Vehicle Accessories

A range of vehicle accessories are produced or described in non-metric units.

Tyres Diameters of tyres are always gradated in inches and marked as such along the outside.

As a result, tyre accessories such as wheel trims are also inch-based. Halfords, for instance, sells around twelve designs of wheels trim in diameters of 12", 13", 14" and 15". Only one trim design sold by Halfords is not in inches; this is a diameter of 315mm (12.4").

Tyre Pressure The use of pounds per square inch (PSI) shows no sign of receding. The use of the metric "bar", while included on foot pumps dials and the like, is seldom actually used by British vehicle users. Halfords produces an battery-powered tyre inflator with the following statement on the outer packaging: "Inflates a normal flat car tyre to 28 PSI in under 8 minutes". No reference to metric is made. Halfords also produces digital display tyre pressure gauges, all of which gives readings in PSI only. Only on a pencil tyre gauge does Halfords include the pressure in bars.

Wiper blades These, together with corresponding rubber wiper refills, are sold in intervals of one inch. Due to EC directive 89/617, requiring the use of metric, most companies now print the metric equivalent on packaging alongside the inches. However, this has not undermined the use of the inch for practical purposes.

Bosch packaging Bosch uses a clever technique to bypass the EC directive altogether.

Bosch offers the product description into two parts. To comply with EC law, the length of the blade length is given with metric first, for instance, "400mm/16".
However, above the length is a large number "16". This number is clearly intended by Bosch to refer to the length of the blade. However, the 16 makes no reference to "inches"; it is presented merely as a product number. Thus, to all intents and purposes, Bosch conveys the length of the blade in inches as its most prominent indication, but remains within the letter of EC law.

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