Тhe Importance of Proper Tire InflationMaintaining the pressure levels of proper tire inflation, recommended by the manufacturer, is a key element of tire maintenance. Tires that have the right amount of air pressure last longer and improve the overall safety of your vehicle on the road.
Low tire pressure hurts the braking distances and provides less responsive handling and steering. This can prove to be extremely dangerous in certain situations where an emergency stop or sudden evasive maneuver is needed to avoid a collision.
Additionally, low tire pressure is the reason for the excessive flex of tire sidewalls, which in turn, generate heat. When there’s a moderate heat, it just accelerates the tire tread wear, however, high heat could result in loss of tread segments or even worse - blowouts.
Underinflated tires have higher rolling resistance which leads to a reduced fuel economy. Also, they wear more quickly at the outer edges of the tread, meaning that a replacement will be required sooner than expected.
Having overinflated tires is also an issue, though is not that hazardous. High-quality tires can withstand pressures that exceed the recommended figures by manufacturers. However, constantly overinflated tires provide a less comfortable drive and endure quicker wear in the tread’s center, which results in untimely replacement.
Determine Proper Tire Pressures
Have a look at the owner’s manual of your car or the tire specification decal on the doorframe of the drive-side. For vehicle models, manufactured before 2003, the information about tire inflation could be located inside the glove box door, trunk lid, or fuel filler flap. Don’t consider the pressure, molded into the tire sidewall. The number indicated there, represents the pressure required to meet the full-rated load-carrying capacity of the tire, not the specific tire pressure for your vehicle.
Automakers provide a basic specification for proper tire pressure that often vary from front to rear, and also when the vehicle is used for long highway driving or is fully-loaded. Higher pressure increases load capacity and also reduces heat buildup.
Some SUVs and pickups have light-truck tires, labeled as “LT” on the sidewalls. For light-truck tires, the recommended inflation pressure can vary notably, depending on the load and usage of the particular vehicle.
Tire Inflation Tips
1. Check tire pressure regularly. Once a month is good, but once a week is even better. Also, always check the pressure before a long road trip.
2. Use a top-quality pressure gauge.
3. Follow the inflation pressures, recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, not the pressure molded into the tire sidewall.
4. Before driving, when tires at rest, check the pressures.
5. When tires are hot, an increased pressure, usually between 2 and 6 psi, is normal.
6. Increase the tire pressure for extended highway driving, carrying heavy loads, or towing, if recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Properly inflated tires last longer and contribute to overall vehicle safety. Experience true peace of mind on the road with the proper tire inflation pressures for your vehicle.