The Ins & Outs of Tire Pressure

Properly inflating your tires gives you numerous driving advantages. Tires inflated to the advised pressure level will reduce gasoline costs and allow the tires to grip the road as designed. The tires will also be able to deflect and flex when inflated to optimal levels while avoiding tread squirm. This means that the tires will stick to the road to prevent slippage and accidents.

Tires that are not properly inflated won’t be able to sustain their intended shape. They’ll flatten out when pressing against roads. All it takes is an under inflation of merely 6 psi (pounds per square inch) and a tire can fail. Tires that are low on pressure will also have a much shorter tread life. Drivers will notice that their vehicle eats up more fuel and handles with significantly less precision when the tires aren’t at the recommended psi levels.

Take Care Not to Over Inflate Tires

While it is critical to keep tires inflated, filling them up with too much air can result in a number of problems. Over inflated tires will be rigid and fail to grip the road as intended. All it takes is an over inflation of 6 psi and the tires will be prone to serious damage when moving over uneven surfaces like potholes. They’ll also produce a rougher ride that disturbs vehicle occupants.

Checking Tire Pressure

Never rely on your eyes to determine tire inflation. Always use a high quality air gauge to measure tire inflation and double check the readings to make sure that they are accurate. Keep in mind that tires lose around 1 psi every 30 days. So, grab your tire pressure gauge and test each tire’s air at least once a month. Be sure to measure tire pressure when the tires are cold. This means that they should be tested at least a few hours after the vehicle has been driven. Just press the tire gauge into the tire’s valve stem and the gauge will move outwards to indicate the psi reading.

When you hear a soft whisper of air escaping the tire for more than a few seconds, you should remove the gauge to prevent too much air from escaping. Ensure that the tires’ psi levels match the recommended levels found on the inside of the vehicle’s driver side door. These levels are also noted in the vehicle’s owner’s manual as well. If the tire psi is below the recommended level, add air to the tire until it is at the proper level. If the tire psi is higher than the recommended level, keep pressing the gauge in until it releases enough air to match the required level.