Why Tire Pressure is Such a Big Deal
(And How to Check It)
Tire pressure is important for many reasons. From money saving to life saving, you need to be sure the pressure isn’t too high or too low. Did you know that your tires can lose air pressure without you even noticing? If you’re not checking your tire pressure regularly you could be costing yourself money or even cutting down on your car’s performance. Here are the main reasons you need to check your tire pressure:
- Helps optimize tire performance and fuel economy. Tires with lower than the recommended pressure can actually cost you more! When hitting the road, make sure to check your pressure - you could be filling up at the pump more because of it.
- Avoid heat-build up. Your tires can get overheated, especially when you are driving long stretches of road. An overheated tire can cause it to weaken, peal or even blow-out.
- Avoid sidewall flexing and tire squirm. You want to make sure the life of your tire does not end prematurely. By keeping it at the right pressure you can help make sure your tire does wear out prematurely.
- Avoid blowouts. If the tire is over inflated, or weakened due to lack of proper pressure, you increase your risk of blowouts while driving.
- Stabilizes the tire’s structure, blending the tire’s responsiveness, traction and handling. Things like hydroplaning can occur more often if you don’t have enough traction, and the optimum traction on your vehicle is attained when your tire is inflated properly. It also is crucial to make sure you have your tires replaced when the traction is wearing down.
If you don’t already know, checking your air pressure is easy; all you need is a tire gauge. If you’re using a gas station air hose, those usually have a gauge built in; when you close the valve of the tire, the gauge will display the Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). The proper PSI is usually slightly different for all tires, but the proper PSI should be listed on the side of your tire (usually around the mid 30’s for most cars).
So remember: check your pressure regularly, as well as the traction to make sure you don’t compromise your vehicle, and the safety of you and others around you. It just makes good sense when a lot is riding on your tires.