Tire Inflation

Brakes, Tires and Wheels

By Rodney (Mechanics)

Dangers and Cost Impact

While it may seem simple, tire pressure is a very important aspect of your vehicle. Tire pressures that are too low will reduce your brake efficiency and make it harder to steer and handle the wheel. Not paying attention to your tire pressure can also be dangerous when you need to stop suddenly or when you have to quickly maneuver your vehicle in some situations.

Low tire pressures will also create more heat on the tires because the sidewalls will experience excess flexing. This is not good for your tires because excess heat can lead to loss of tread segments. In some extreme situations, it can also cause blowouts.

Your fuel economy will also be affected by low tire pressures because the tires will have higher rolling resistance. You will also notice that your tires will get worn more rapidly especially at the outer edges. This will cost you money because you will need to replace your tires sooner than expected.

Tire Inflation

Over-inflating tires will usually cause fewer issues. This is because modern tires are designed to withstand excess pressures. But, if you consistently over-inflate your tires for a prolonged time, the tires will experience more wear on the center segment of the tread. The vehicles will also feel less comfortable when driven. And you will need to replace your tires sooner compared to the tires that are properly inflated.

Maximum Performance and Mileage

Maintaining proper tire pressure can prolong the usage of your tires. Meanwhile, if you keep inflating your tire improperly, it will also result in irregular wear. Not only that it will cause significant damage to your tires, but it could also lead to damages to your vehicles.

The Suitable Period to Check Your Tire Pressure

Perform a pressure check for all the tires at least once a month. You can also include it in the monthly maintenance for your vehicle. This is because your tires will usually lose about 1 pound per square inch of pressure every month, whether you are using your vehicle or not. PSI is the pressure number that refers to the minimum amount of air pressure that should be applied to your tires so they can support the weight of your vehicle even at its maximum load.

Be informed that in cold winter temperatures, your tire pressure can change dramatically. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature change, there will also be a change of 1 PSI in your tire air pressure. If you live in a cold climate, make sure to always check your tire pressure especially if you don’t drive your vehicle very frequently.

Tire Inflation Sticker

The Best Tool to Check Tire Pressure

Using a tire pressure gauge is important when you are filling your tires with air. This tool will measure the pressure as you insert the air inside the tires. To know the correct inflation pressure, check the number that is located on the sidewall of your tires. Make a note that this number is the maximum inflation pressure that you should apply to your tires. You should inflate your tires a little bit lower than this number because keeping your tires at the maximum PSI will cause a shorter life span. It will also affect the traction and braking efficiency of your vehicle.

The Aspects of PSI Recommendation from Vehicle Manufacturer

  1. The comfort and performance when you’re driving.
  2. Maximum load capacity.
  3. Wear and Traction.
  4. Fuel Economy.

Tire Inflation Chart

Tire Inflation Tips

  1. At least once a month, check the condition of your tire pressure. Once a week is also better and you should always check it before you go on a long drive.
  2. Get a pressure gauge that has a good quality. They will be more accurate, and they are pretty cheap to get.
  3. Consult the manual that you get from the vehicle manufacturer to know the recommended air pressures for your tires. Do not only follow the number on the tire sidewall.
  4. When the tires are cold, check the pressure before driving the vehicle.
  5. Be informed that heat will typically increase the pressure reading of your tires.
  6. If you are driving in a condition that increases tire pressures, such as carrying heavy loads or driving on a very long trip, you should always check the recommendation from the vehicle manufacturer.

Different vehicles will require different tire inflation pressure. Make sure to always check the recommendation from your vehicle owner’s manual. But the most important thing is to always check your tire pressure before you start driving the vehicle, especially after you use the vehicle for a prolonged time.