It’s Cold Outside! Should I Check My Tire Air Pressure?
Taking care of your vehicle year-round can be a tough task for many but staying on top of regular maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid potential damage or even breakdowns on the road. One of the most overlooked areas of regular vehicle maintenance is your tires, more specifically your tire air pressure. But what exactly do you need to know about them for proper maintenance?
Cold Weather Affects Your Tire Pressure
The change of seasons is the most important time to have your tire air pressure checked. Although it is recommended to have air pressure checked once a month, you should consider getting a reading more frequently with the colder weather as a drop of 10 degrees will reduce your tire pressure 1-2 psi. With the frequent changes in temperatures, many Houstonians could be driving on severely underinflated tires.
Underinflated Tires Can Hurt Your Car and Your Wallet
The proper tire air pressure not only helps them last longer, but it can also save you money on simple things like gas and more costly things like vehicle repairs. Underinflated tires take more wear on the roads as tread life can be reduced by as much as 25% due to increased friction. The increased friction negatively affects your vehicle’s miles per gallon as your car has to work harder, but the loss of handling that comes with the weaker grip of underinflated tires can be incredibly dangerous.
According to Edmunds, it is estimated that you burn 1 percent more fuel and add 10 percent more tire wear for every 3 psi that your tires are below the recommended air pressure.
Do I Need to Worry About My Tire Pressure Light?
Never ignore a tire pressure light that appears on your dashboard. Most newer model vehicles have higher tech pressure monitoring systems that will tell you exactly which tire is underinflated and by how much, but older model vehicles will just display the warning light. When the warning symbol appears, one or more of your tires could be under inflated by 25% or more!
What Do I Do About Low Tire Pressure?
Many tire shops will check your air pressure for free, or you can also check it at home with a tire gauge. If you’re checking your vehicle’s tire pressure at home, you can easily find your make and model’s recommended tire air pressure inside the driver side door. Open your door and look at the vehicle’s frame near the door jam. There should be a white label with vehicle information like seating capacity, tire size, and recommended tire pressure. Your vehicle’s owner manual should also contain this information if the sticker has become worn or is missing.
Any time you or a mechanic checks your tire air pressure, you should make sure to look for signs of extreme wear or damage. Look for nails, tears, or cracks along the tread, valve stem, and tire sidewall, and make sure to let your tire specialist know so that the tire can be replaced if necessary.
At Gullo Ford, you can bring in your vehicle (any make or model) to receive a free tire air pressure check. Just visit our service center at 925 I-45 South in Conroe, TX to make sure that your tires are properly inflated and you’re staying safe on the road!