While most people know that you should check your tyre pressures on a regular basis, how many actually do this? It’s amazing what road checks reveal.
The United Kingdom’s Sussex Police Force conducted a roadside inspection to determine if tyre pressures were correct due to concerns about incorrectly inflated tyres. The recommended pressures were checked and the check allowed for a tolerance of +/- 5psi. According to the survey, 73% of cars were found to have incorrect pressures.
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Also, a tyre that is under-inflated by 20% (4-6 PSI) can result in a tyre lasting 26 percent less than it would if properly inflated. Police figures show that 73% of the tyres tested were 5 psi, compared to handbook pressures. Fuel costs can rise by 5% if there is under-inflation (around 20%).
Tyre pressures matter because the vehicle’s only contact with the road is through its footprint. You have no control over the foot print. It must operate in the right pressure. Simply put, Nitrogen inflation is a way to save money and make you safer on the roads.
The Importance of Proper Tyre Pressure
You can save money and headaches by taking five minutes each month at the beginning of each new month! How do you do it? You can use that five-minute time to check your tyre pressure. How do you check your tires pressure? We can help.
Did you know that it is not the tire that supports your vehicle’s weight, but the pressure within the tire. It’s not surprising that tire pressure has an impact on many aspects of vehicle performance such as driving comfort, steering stability, cornering, braking grip and general handling behavior. Incorrect tire pressure can have a negative impact on any of these critical characteristics. To ensure optimal performance, it is important to regularly monitor your tire pressure.
Recommended Tyre Pressure
The vehicle manufacturer and the tire producer agree on the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle. The vehicle’s weight, size, towing capacity, and recommended tire size determine the psi. These pressures are designed to keep you safe and comfortable while on the road. It’s important that you follow them.
How do you find out the recommended tire pressures? You can find the recommended tire pressures for your vehicle and tyre combination in your vehicle manual or on your driver’s doorpost.
Cold Inflation Pressure
The recommended tyre pressures you should use for your vehicle depend on the cold inflation pressure. When gas is heated, it expands and contracts as temperatures drop. You should therefore check your pressures before you start driving the tyre, before the temperature drops and before direct sunlight. Cold inflation pressure is important.
As the seasons change, daily temperatures can fluctuate between day and night. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the tyre pressure can vary by 1 psi. The tyre pressure will rise by 1 psi if the temperature outside goes up by 10 degrees. In the opposite direction, a 10 degree drop in ambient temperature will result in a 1 psi decrease in tyre pressure.
Warm tyres will have a higher pressure because of heat buildup. Warm tyre pressure should not be reduced as they can cool down and cause pressure to drop below the minimum tire pressure.
It’s important to inspect your tyre pressures as temperatures drop in winter and fall. Your tires can experience a drop in pressure of up to 5 psi during winter. This affects your tires’ traction, handling, and durability. This fluctuation throughout the year makes it important to check your tyre pressures before each month begins and before long road trips. The additional load could require that the tire pressures be increased to meet the specifications. Don’t forget your spare tyre!
How do I check the tyre pressure?
Check your tyre pressure at home. You can check your tyre pressure at home, as mentioned previously. An accurate tyre pressure gauge is required, which can be purchased at your local auto parts retailer. You can choose between a digital battery-operated gauge or a stick-type gauge. Both will work and should not cost much.
You’re only five minutes away from completing the task once you have identified the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
– You must remove the valve stems from your tyres’ end caps (don’t forget them!) .
– To get a reading, place the tyre pressure gauge in the valve stem.
– Compare the recommended psi to your psi reading.
– Push the valve to release some air if the reading is higher than the recommended.
– If your reading falls below the recommendation, you can fill your tyre up with air until it reaches the recommended pressure.
– This should be done for all tyres in your car, including the spare.
Driving with overinflated tires will cause:
– Comfortable driving
– Stability in the direction
– Car handling, especially when cornering at high speed
– Wearing unusual clothes
Underinflated tyres can have a negative effect on:
– Steering response
– Stability in the direction
– Safety while driving (tyres may come off the rim during cornering).
– Economy (higher fuel consumption and lower mileage).
– Tyre durability
– Wearing unusual clothes
SAFETY WARNING: Inflation can cause damage to the inside of your tyre. This could lead to a tyre blowout or a tyre that is not in good shape. Adjusting the tyre pressure will not fix hidden tyre damage.
Does the TPMS work?
A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) must be installed in all new cars. The TPMS can be based on different concepts and sensors. There are essentially two main types of TPMS system:
Direct systems – pressure sensors integrated with the valve or attached to the rim or inside of the tyre.
Indirect systems – no pressure sensor fitted to the tyre/rim. Pressure differences are measured “indirectly” via for example tyre rolling circumference changes.
Car manufacturers may opt either for direct or for indirect systems. While new vehicles are equipped with TPMS, these systems issue a low pressure warning only after tyre pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. In many cases a slight drop in air pressure would not trigger a warning light and would cause a loss of fuel economy and could lead to vehicle safety issue. Even with TPMS, motorists need to check tyre pressure with a tyre gauge every month.
Fitment and maintenance of TPMS systems should be left to the tyre specialists.