CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE BEFORE THE SEASONS CHANGE
As the weather changes, the tires on your vehicle are heavily affected. Getting the right air pressure in your vehicle’s tires is important to maintain a safe and efficient ride for you and your passengers. Proper air pressure will also give your tires their maximum life. Keeping your tires properly inflated is easy and only takes a few minutes.
Where Do You Find the Proper Tire Pressure?
Every new vehicle will have a placard located on the driver-side door jamb behind the seat. It lists the proper inflation pressure for each tire, including the spare tire if your car has one. The numbers on the doorpost are the recommendations from the vehicle’s manufacturer. The correct tire pressure information can also be found in your owner’s manual.
Why Proper Inflation Is Important
Safety is the most important reason to keep your tire pressures at their recommended level. Driving on severely underinflated tires, or those overinflated well past their maximum inflation pressure, can cause a blowout while you are driving, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
Many advanced safety and driver assistance functions will not operate at their optimal capability if your tires are not properly inflated.
Keeping your tires at their recommended pressure will also give you the best balance of ride quality, handling prowess, tire life, and fuel economy. Driving on underinflated tires costs about 0.2 percent in efficiency for each one pound of pressure they are under the recommendation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you’re 10 pounds low, you’re giving up 2 percent of your fuel economy. Tire underinflation will also lead to significantly accelerated tire wear and damaging heat buildup.
It Is Not the Number You Find On Your Tire
A vehicle’s recommended tire pressure is often confused with the maximum tire pressure shown on the tire sidewall. That number indicates the maximum pressure your tires can tolerate while carrying their maximum allowable load. Filling your vehicle tires to their maximum pressure for everyday driving is a bad idea.
Driving on tires that are over-inflated will increase wear on the center of the tire, affect your vehicle’s handling, create a harsher ride, and potentially reduce your braking efficiency. Some people recommend driving on overinflated tires to increase your gas mileage. However, the money you save with fewer trips to the gas station will likely be offset by more frequent trips to the shop for new tires, as overinflated tires will wear unevenly.
If you have questions on how to check your vehicles tire pressure, stop by your local Quality Tune Up Shop and let our team check out your tire pressure and show you the correct tire pressure for your vehicle.
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