One of the major shocks of adult life is how much tires cost. A set of four tires can cost hundreds of dollars, sometimes even thousands! Once you’ve invested in new tires for your ride, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect them so they last as long as possible. An easy way to keep a check on your tires is to monitor your tire pressure.
Tire pressure is the air pressure inside of your tire and is measured in pounds per square inch, abbreviated as PSI. Each vehicle has a recommended PSI for its tires posted in the vehicle manual, on the driver’s door frame, and online. The tire itself may show a recommended PSI also, but it’s usually better to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI.
Check your tires once per month while they’re cold and make necessary adjustments to reach the ideal PSI. Also, have your mechanic check the PSI with every oil change. Even if there is no visible change in your tires, temperature fluctuations from season to season can cause slight PSI changes. If you check your tire pressure monthly, you’ll be able to adapt to these fluctuations.
Maintaining the ideal PSI in each tire is crucial because improperly inflated tires:
Wear unevenly and excessively.
Uneven and excessive wear on your tires can result in a dangerous situation. Areas of uneven wear get hot quicker, risking complete tire failure and blowout. If you’re going 70 mph down an interstate when this happens, it could be fatal.
The excessive wearing of an improperly inflated tire will drastically cut the life of your tires, and your tire’s warranty may not cover the damage. This means you’ll end up paying for a full set of new tires long before you anticipated.
Decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Improperly inflated tires are proven to impact a vehicle’s fuel efficiency up to 3%. While this may not seem like a lot, with rising gas prices all over the country, keep our vehicles as fuel-efficient as possible is critical.
Result in poor vehicle handling.
When the tires are unevenly inflated, it throws off the balance of the entire vehicle. An imbalance will negatively affect the suspension system, impacting steering, cornering, stopping, and all aspects of the vehicle’s handling.
While newer cars may come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System or TPMS, it’s important not to rely solely on this. TPMS is designed to alert you if a tire drops 25% or more below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended PSI. A much smaller drop than that can lead to significant changes in handling and fuel economy. Only rely on TPMS as an emergency backup. Monthly tire pressure checks are still crucial even if you have TPMS installed.
If you’re unsure about your tire pressure or need a quick demo on how to check it, stop by JB Import Automotive in St. Petersburg. Our car care experts will make sure your tires are properly inflated and balanced, plus show you how to keep a check on it between services. There’s a reason we have almost 300 five-star Google reviews, just come find out for yourself!