Why Check Your Tyre Pressure?
The Importance of Checking your Tyre Pressure
When it comes to road safety, having the correct tyre pressure is imperative, it can be fairly easy to underestimate the importance of ensuring the pressure is right. When was the last time you actually checked your tyre pressure properly? Not just by kicking your tyre or giving them a quick feel, but taking the time to check them with a tyre pressure gauge and make sure that the tyres of your vehicle are at the correct pressure in your vehicle's handbook.
Car Tyre Pressure
One of the most useful and profitable things you can do for your car is checking the car tyre pressure regularly. It is strongly recommended that you do this at least once a month. Under inflated tyres will increase your cars fuel consumption, wear out a lot faster and reduce the stability of your car. From natural causes your car tyres can lose up to 2 pounds of air without a puncture or a tear. Slow punctures are a common problem in today's motor industry and can cause your tyre’s pressure to decrease gradually without you even noticing it! Only by carrying out regular checks will you be able to catch it before you damage the tyre or have a blow-out on the road.
The Danger of Under-Inflated Tyres
It’s highly dangerous to drive a car with under inflated tyres, having low tyre pressure can increase the rolling resistance of the vehicle, meaning that the tyre will not only wear out faster but run hotter. With a heightened tyre temperature along with flexing side walls increases the risk of experiencing problems including tyre failures and blowouts. These risks are known to increase substantially if a car is driven at high speed, as more friction, and therefore heat is generated. Not only can under inflated tyres fail or occur in a blow out but they can also cause the vehicle to experience issues with the handling and grip levels during a sudden emergency movement, which can lead to unpredictable and damaging effects. The life of a tyre will decrease by 10% for every 10% it is underinflated, which will also lead to you needing new treads sooner than could be necessary. So ensuring the air-pressure is at the recommended level for your vehicle will also save you some money.
Is Over-Inflation Dangerous?
It isn’t advised to have your tyres over-inflated or to drive to the maximum air pressure, as the suggested air pressure is the maximum pressure in which a tyre can handle. Having them over inflated can essentially mean that your vehicle will be running right at the edge of what the tyres have been built to handle, meaning that there is a zero safety margin. When the vehicle is driven, the tyres can heat up, as they are heating up the air pressure will also rise and lead to unsafe levels. Other disadvantages of over inflated tyres include a hard and uncomfortable journey, excessive wear, and a reduction in the handling and braking performance, which again could put you and your family at risk of accidents.
Checking your Car Tyre Pressure
Every car is different and has different recommended tyre pressures, often varying from front to back wheels too. You should be sure to know what pressures are right for your car by checking your car’s user manual upon purchase. If you don’t have your car’s manual, then you should always contact a garage or search for “car tyre pressure tools” on the web. An equally effective way of finding out your recommended pressures. As a rule, your car tyres should be cool when you check the pressure. In an ideal world, this means you won’t have driven your motor for about an hour. If you don’t have a pump of your own, try using a supermarket garage air pump when you get some free time, or after your weekly shop. This way your tyres will still be cool, as you will have only driven from the supermarket car park to the garage across the road. The process of checking your tyres is relatively easy, all you need is a tyre gauge and a portable air compressor (or use an air pump at a supermarket/garage). Once you have these items or are able to attend an air pump you will need to locate the tyre pressure placard for your vehicle, the majority of the time you can find this by opening the driver or passenger door and looking around the edges of the door/car frame. When you are aware of your tyre pressure, you should take off the dust caps on all four wheels, remember your recommended pressures which may vary for your front and back wheels. This will make the process a lot smoother as you will know exactly what you are doing. Move from wheel to wheel, deflating or inflating as necessary to ensure the recommended pressure is achieved on each one. As you inflate or deflate your tyres make sure you have a good look at them to check for any uneven wear, bulges or cuts to the tyre. If you find any of these, you should visit your local garage to get them checked out!
Check your Tyres Regularly
You can never over check your tyres, and this is something that should be done as often as possible. Some drivers are known to check their pressures on a weekly basis, particularly if they do a lot of driving and travelling. Realistically though, they should be checked once per month. This should give you added peace of mind that you are being responsible for the safety and well being of your family when you are on the road.