The Benefits of Correct Air Pressure
With the right amount of air pressure, your tyres wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling, and prevent accidents. Failure to maintain the correct air pressure can result in poor gas mileage, reduce tyre life, affect vehicle handling, and cause vehicle overloading.
Check Air Pressure Routinely
Tyres lose pressure each day through the process of permeation. Check the air pressure in your tyres every other time you stop to fill up at the gas station. Many vehicles have different tyre pressures on the front and rear axle, so remember to have this adjustment made. Also remember to have the pressure in your spare tyre checked.
Where To Find Air Pressure Information
The correct air pressure may be found in the vehicle owner’s manual or on the tyre placard (attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door or fuel door).
Other Factors Change Air Pressure
In addition to routine air checks, other circumstances necessitate a visit to the air pump. Seasonal changes or altitude changes create a rise or drop in air pressure (for every 10 degrees change in temperature, tyre air pressure changes 1 psi).
Sometimes a small nail, screw or other object will puncture a tyre and then act as an inefficient plug. Air pressure drops slowly over a matter of hours or days, undetected by the driver. Be aware of any pulling or vibration that seems unnatural, and check the wheels for a puncture. A bulging sidewall and/or excessively hot tyre indicates a slow leak. Put on your spare tyre and have your tyre dealer repair the punctured unit. If sidewall damage has occurred, you will need to have the tyre replaced.
How To Check Air Pressure
Properly checking tyre pressure requires an accurate air gauge. Invest in a quality air gauge.
When checking your vehicle’s tyre pressure, make sure the tyres are “cold”. Cold air pressure means that the vehicle has not yet been driven one mile. Finally, after completing the pressure check, make sure that the valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps to keep out dirt and moisture.
Want to know more about better tyre wear? See our articles on Balancing, Tyre Rotation, and Alignment.