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Why having the right tire pressure matters

Why having the right tire pressure matters

By Melvin Magadia, for Automart.PH

METRO MANILA, July 29, 2022 – Maintaining the right tire pressure ensures you get the most out of your car tire.  

Maybe you feel that your steering seems sluggish when you are behind the wheel or your gas mileage is lower than it used to be. That’s because your tires may not have been properly inflated.

Depending on the type of your car and the tires you are using, you need to follow the recommended pressure. Inflating your tires to its recommended air pressure ensuressafe handling and fuel economy. In most cases, the recommended tire pressure is printed on a label inside your car. It might be on the edge of the door or in the glove box.

If you are driving a newer car, the recommended tire pressure is usually on a sticker on the door. If there is no label, the best place to check the owner’s manual.

What happens if I overinflate the tires?

There is a common misconception that overinflating your tires will result in more responsive handling and greater fuel efficiency.

However, doing so can be detrimental to the tires. Overinflating your tires will result in a bouncy ride and an ill-handling car. In addition, it will cause the sidewalls and treads of the tire to become harder than normal. This can reduce the traction and performance of the tire.

Aside from that, overinflation can cause premature wear. When overinflated, your tires round out on the tread section causing the center to wear significantly faster than the outer edges. Your tires might only last half the life they normally would.

Is it OK to underinflate the tires, then?

In the same way, underinflating tire pressure is just as bad.

Underinflation causes a significant part of your tire’s surface to come into contact with the road, increasing friction. This will cause the tires to overheat, causing tread separation, premature wear and blowouts.  

Underinflation will also cause the tire to lose its shape. Underinflation of only 6 psi could result in tire failure as the tire’s tread life is reduced by as much as 25 percent.

Finally, underinflation will lead to a loss of steering precision and cornering stability.

Check your tires regularly

Most drivers will only remember to check tire pressure when something goes wrong.

Your tires lose 1 psi of pressure every month due to osmosis or permeation, which is the ability of air to pass through the structure of tire rubber. This is normal for monthly air loss, but neglecting it for six months may lead to a loss of six to 18 psi.

In cold weather, tires lose about one to two psi of air monthly, which goes higher in warm weather. For this reason, it is best to check your tire pressure every time you fill up your gas tank.

Also, don’t forget to check the pressure and have your spare tire inflated. Use a tire pressure gauge to check.

Tire air pressure should never be ignored. It will help ensure safe travel for you and your family. Make it a habit to check your car’s air pressure to have peace of mind on the road.

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