Drivers usually pay much attention to this very topic. That is true that proper inflation has a lot of benefits for drivers. Right tyre pressure helps to extend life and durability of your tyres, improves safety and maintains fuel efficiency. Specialists admit, that tyres inflated to the recommended pressure can improve fuel economy for 10%. All these goals can be realized through a single action of constant controlling and checking tyre pressure in time.
All tyres lose air, this is an inevitable process, but it doesn’t mean that you can do nothing about it. The process is caused by:
- uneven road surfaces
- frequent long-distance driving
- heavy loads
- air loss also increases in warmer temperatures
This process plus incorrect pressure result in poor mileage, uneven tire wear, or a tire blow-out.
Check your pressure and your treads on a monthly basis at the same time. Ensure that the tire is cold while checking, since driving warms up the tyres, expanding the air inside and increasing the risk of an inaccurate riding.
To be sure that you control tyre condition, schedule your tyre service. But don’t forget that even having an opportunity to consult specialist on this issue and to leave it for a pro, it’s a good idea to understand some key aspects in this area. So, this article will try to revel some of them for you, drivers.
Here is a practical guide for you to understand how to check the pressure correctly. First of all while preparing for the process you should keep in mind the following facts:
- It is very important to know that contrary to popular belief, tyre pressure is not determined by the type of tyre or its size but upon your vehicle’s load and speed;
- upon your vehicle’s load and driving application i.e. speed
- First of all don’t forget to check the owners’ manual or on the inside of the driver’s side door for the information on standard cold tire inflation pressure. This number is the lowest PSI one would inflate the tires to and it is specially suggested by the car’s manufacturer, as a result of numerous tests;
- For most sedans, minivans, and even mini pickups, manufacturers generally recommend a PSI (pounds per square inch) in the range of 27 to 32, but can reach all the way up to 40;
- For larger vehicles that need to carry a larger burden, such as trucks and SUVs, the PSI is generally 4 to 8 PSI greater than it would be in smaller cars, perhaps around 45;
- You should remember that the front tyres may require a different pressure comparing with the back ones, all these recommendations are also described by the manufacturer;
- For accurate measure, it is necessary to check and adjust tyres pressure in the morning before driving them;
- Mind the season changes while checking the pressure, of course temperature differences influence your tire pressure.
Cold weather conditions may cause your pressure to drop while warm or hot weather may cause your pressure to increase. Of course you will check the pressure on the regular basis, that is why and, it is exceptionally important to do that when the seasons change;
- You should have a reliable and a good quality tyre pressure gauge. Many vehicles come equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system is aimed to alert you if your tyres are losing air or are below the recommended pressure. You shouldn’t even try to estimate your tyres inflation pressure. It is better to have an extra gauge in your glove compartment – even if you have a TPMS built into your vehicle, it will provide you with accurate results all the time and it is definitely more effective than to use multiple gauges at different gas or service stations;
Speaking namely about the steps you should make to find the level of the air pressure, this process includes the following ones:
- First of all, you should unscrew the valve stem cap from the valve stem on the tire. The valve stem is a black or silver pencil-sized extension near the hubcap, about 1″ (2-3 cm) long.
- The next step involves your gauge. Simply press the air pressure gauge (mind the information on the gauge below) evenly onto the valve stem and record the given results. If you can hear a hissing sound, you didn’t applied the tool tight enough for an accurate reading. In this case adjust the angle of the gauge.
- Finally, replace valve stem cap. The cap does not hold air in, but it keeps dirt and moisture away from the valve mechanism in the valve stem, which does actually hold air in.
By the way, remember the fact, that nowadays it is quite easy to find the requested tyre pressure, there is a great number of sites, which offer you simply enter your vehicle number plate and the program will find the necessary tyre pressure for your vehicle.
One more fact, that can help you to prolong the life of the tyres – if you carry extra load you’d better consult your tyre dealer on how this fact can influence tyre pressure state.
Finally, the last, but not the least point, avoid both overinflating and underinflating. Overinflated tires become rigid and stiff that leads to a “harder” driving and uneven tread wear. Rigidity of the overinflated tyre causes damage by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road.
Underinflated tires do not hold their shape and are flatter to the ground. Therefore, more of the tire comes in contact with the road, causing the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. Underinflated tires are more flexible when they roll, leading to increased rolling resistance and therefore a decrease in fuel economy.
Believe it or not, checking your tyre pressure also has a great impact on our environment. An under-inflated tyre creates more rolling resistance and therefore more fuel consumption. By keeping your tyres inflated to their proper levels, you can help but maximise your car’s fuel economy and minimise its impact on our environment.