It’s normal practice amongst many motorists to regularly maintain their cars in a spotless and roadworthy condition. They are the kind of individuals who consult the owner’s handbook to determine when a service is due and make sure it’s booked into the workshop at the correct time. And plenty of people will even spend an entire Saturday detailing the lining of their cars to try and keep them looking new. Even so, amongst those of us who take car ownership responsibly, how easy it really is to forget to check those tire pressures! In this article we will discuss the value of maintaining adequate tire pressure.
Tire pressure problems arise from two main factors: too much pressure in the tire or too little pressure inside the tire. One more thing you must do is to confirm the owners manual on the car to discover the right tire pressure. Don’t confuse the tire pressure embossed onto the tire itself with the correct on-the-road tire pressure since they are very different. Pressure labeled on the tire is the utmost safe inflation for that particular kind of tire. The recommended tire pressures can be located in the owners manual which sometimes give two different figures for front and rear tire pressures.
Over inflation of your tires will lead to little contact area in which the tire tread sits on the road. As your car has less contact and traction with the road surface, it could be less responsive to steering wheel inputs. This will become most noticeable in wet conditions or on snow and ice when the chances of an accident are greatly increased. Driving a car on over inflated tires risks significant injury and even a low speed impact, just into a shallow ditch for example, can lead to a surprisingly large recovery and repair bill nowadays.
Also you do not want to have too little pressure inside your tires as this will begin to show on the sidewalls of the tires. A tire with low pressure within it will not last as long if you go on to drive with it in this state. Furthermore, excess heat builds up in the tire because of the continual flexing of the side walls and may cause a blow out. You could find it troublesome to prevent your car in a straight line after a blow out and in the lack of a spare wheel, you’ll have to pay a tow charge.
Besides the safety aspect, keeping your tires at the correct pressure can improve the miles per gallon performance of your car. When your tires are low on air pressure you will be causing more of the tire to make contact with the road. This obviously means that you are creating more resistance and cutting your gas mileage. After all you could spend nearly 10% of a tank full of fuel in case your tires are below the manufacturer’s recommended pressures and your running costs will jump upwards.
All tire pressure information needs to be measured after the tire is ‘cold’ so either check your pressures first thing in a morning after the car has stood overnight or at least wait a few hours after it has been used on a long journey. Any time driving the tires get quite warm over time and air pressure readings will seem more than they really are. It’s excellent suggestions to check your tire pressures weekly and by repeating this and heeding the information in this article you will keep yourself safe and reduce costs.