Your tires are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road, which is why they are so important to proper vehicle performance. Yet, our tires are probably the most neglected aspect of our cars. The simplest way to maintain tires is to check and adjust your tire pressure as needed.
When we talk about tire pressure, we use psi, which is “pounds per square inch.” This is crucial to ensuring your tires perform as they were made to. Why is that so important?
The Importance of Tire Pressure
Well, tire pressure ensures that the tires are supporting your vehicle on the road, as well as handling correctly. When you have the right tire pressure, your vehicle will handle as intended, which means it’s as safe as possible. Additionally, correct tire pressure means that the tires wear evenly and slower, meaning they will last longer. On top of that, your fuel will last longer! You use less fuel when your tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
The Consequences of No Tire Maintenance
There are a plethora of issues that come with a lack of tire maintenance. If your tires aren’t inflated to the correct psi, it increases the wear on the tread.
Underinflated tires become flat, which means that they are making more contact with the road. This causes premature wear on the outside or shoulder of the tire and also decreases your fuel economy. Additionally, there is a risk of damage to the tire’s structure due to heat build-up.
When tires are overinflated, they become rigid and stiff. They are making less contact with the surface of the road, which means bumpy rides as well as uneven center wear. Both of these circumstances put your safety at risk. It increases the likelihood of a blowout, which can result in serious accidents.
How To Check Tire Pressure
First, you will need a tire pressure gauge; it’s incredibly simple to use. You just pop the gauge onto the tire valve and take the reading. On the side of each tire, you will find the max psi it can handle. You should never inflate it beyond that point. You will also need to check the optimal tire pressure for your vehicle. There are several places you can find this information, in your owner’s manual, the driver’s door frame or online if all else fails.
Just remember these key points:
- Set the pressure in line with the owner’s manual.
- It’s wise to check your tire pressure before you drive your car. The most accurate way to take a reading is when the tires are cold.
- Your tires are affected by changes in temperature. Therefore, pressure drops during cold weather and rises in heat. Be sure to check your tire pressure as the seasons change.
- Newer cars are equipped with TPMS, which is a tire pressure monitoring system. This will alert you automatically if your pressure is low. Even in these cases, it’s wise to have a good-quality gauge in your glove box, just in case. Always use the same gauge to ensure consistent readings.
If you need any assistance, get in touch!