Driving on tyres with the wrong tyre pressure not only costs you more money in the long run, but it risks your safety too. Maintaining proper pressure not only enhances your driving experience, but also provides a host of benefits that contribute to the overall performance and how long your tyres can last. Many people don’t think about checking the pressure of tyres until they see one sagging or deflated, or until their MOT test.
Checking your tyres regularly is important, especially for fuel efficiency. However, fuel efficiency could be the least of your troubles. If you travel with under-inflated or overinflated tyres, it can put stress on other parts of your vehicle that would be expensive to repair. Driving with the wrong tyre pressure also puts you at a significantly higher risk of a blowout while driving. Tyre blowout is extremely dangerous for you, your passengers in the vehicle but also any other cars on the road at the time.
This blog post will explain why it’s so important to regularly check your tyre pressure, as well as how to inflate your tyres.
Effects of Under and Over-Inflated Tyres
The Dangers of Under-Inflated Tyres
Tyres are carefully designed to provide optimal traction on the roads, and they depend on a specific level of inflation to do so. Under-inflated car tyres increase the surface area in contact with the road as they sag. This increases tyre resistance, which can cause a range of issues including:
- Greater fuel consumption
- Increased friction and wear
- Straining suspension and chassis, risking damage to vital components of your vehicle
- Impaired handling and braking
Effects of Overinfated Tyres
Overinflation of your tyres is also dangerous, so it’s important to know your car’s specific tyre pressure. Properly inflated tyres offer less rolling resistance, allowing your engine to work more efficiently. This provides you with better fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions, making your vehicle more environmentally friendly.
Overinflated tyres reduce the overall contact with the road, as the sides pick up, putting more pressure on the centre of the tyre. This leads to poorer traction and therefore poorer break times and stability. It also causes tyres to wear much more quickly, as the centres suffer increased stress. This means you have to replace your tyres much quicker.
Check Pressure When Tyres Are Cold
For the most accurate readings, check the tyre pressure when your tyres are cold. Ideally, check after the vehicle has been parked for at least three hours or driven less than two miles. The pressure of your tyres can increase as the tyres warm up, leading to inaccurate readings if checked while hot.
Determining Your Vehicle’s Optimum Tyre Pressure
To prevent outcomes of unbalanced tyres, vehicles need to be at their optimum pressure levels as much as possible. You can find your vehicle’s tyre pressure in the user’s manual or sometimes written on the sill of the driver’s door. Alternatively, you can find a website online and search using your number plate or car make and model.
Ensuring Correct Tyre Pressure: Checking and Adjusting
At the majority of petrol stations, you will find an air pump station available. These are typically offered at no cost or for a minimal cost. To check the pressure, find the valves on each tyre, remove the caps, and attach the hose to the valve. The air pump will then inflate the tyres to the predetermined level, which you must input on the device before starting inflation. Once the pressure is reached, the machine will beep to let you know that the tyre has reached the set pressure.
Make sure to reset the pressure for the rear and front tyres if their required pressure differs.
Tools for Tyre Pressure Measurement
Remember to check your tyres every two to four weeks, especially before taking long trips. It’s important to check your tyres manually, even if your vehicle is equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A TPMS provides alerts when the pressure drops significantly, but it's still important to manually check the pressure of your tyres regularly to ensure optimal performance.
Regular Maintenance for Optimal Tyre Pressure
Incorporating tyre pressure checks into your regular vehicle maintenance routine is crucial for ensuring a safe and efficient driving experience. Understand the importance of proper tyre pressure and monitoring it regularly. By doing so, you can prolong the life of your tyres, improve fuel economy, and enhance overall vehicle performance. So, take the time to check your tyre pressure and enjoy the benefits of a safer and more efficient drive.
The Crucial Signs Indicating Car Repairs Understanding when your car requires repairs is vital for maintaining its performance, safety, and longevity. Often, small issues, if left unattended, can escalate into major, costly problems. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential signs that indicate your vehicle may need immediate repairs, helping you keep your […]
Embark on an fun day out with our guide to the best day trips from Stoke-on-Trent. Explore scenic routes and historical landmarks, with suggestions that are fun for all of the family. Where is Stoke-on-Trent? Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent is a city rich in industrial heritage and cultural vibrancy. Known affectionately as […]
Maintaining optimal performance and safety in your vehicle involves understanding the importance of wheel alignment and balancing. These often overlooked yet crucial maintenance tasks not only ensure a smoother driving experience but also significantly extend the lifespan of your tyres and contribute to the overall health of your vehicle. The Crucial Role of Wheel Alignment […]