5 Reasons You Need to Check Your Tire Pressure (That You Don’t Already Know)

2 Aug

Everybody knows that if your tire starts looking flat you need more air or else you might end up changing it for the spare. But did you know that your tires can lose air pressure without you even noticing? If you’re not checking your tire pressure regularly (every month is recommended) you could be costing yourself money or even cutting down on your car’s performance.

Here are the five other reasons you need to check the pressure in your tires.

1. Helps optimize tire performance and fuel economy (something especially useful with the AC running all the time and the increasing gas prices).
2. Improves durability and performance designed to match the needs of your vehicle.
3. Avoid sidewall flexing and tire squirm
4. Avoid heat build up and potential rolling hazards
5. Stabilizes the tire’s structure, blending the tire’s responsiveness, traction and handling.

If you don’t already know, checking your air pressure is easy; all you need is a tire gauge. If you’re using a gas station air hose, those usually have a gauge built in; when you put the filler hose fitting onto the tire stem, the gauge will display the current Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). The proper PSI is usually slightly different for all tires, but the proper PSI should be listed on your tire placard (often inside the driver’s side door frame) or in your car’s user manual. Please note that the number written on the side tire wall is actually the maximum permissible PSI for the tire and does not actually reflect the correct pressure for your specific vehicle. When filling your tires, always adhere to the vehicle recommended PSI (usually around the mid 30’s for most cars). It is also recommended that you check your tire pressure “cold”; contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the actual outside temperature, but refers to the idea that you should wait at least 3 hours from the last tire use to check the pressure.

For more driving safety tips, check out our other blog posts, and feel free to comment with any questions or tips of your own!

 

4 Responses to “5 Reasons You Need to Check Your Tire Pressure (That You Don’t Already Know)”

  1. Cliff Greenberg May 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    There are some inaccuracies in the posting:
    1. “…when you close the valve of the tire” is not something that is done. Do you mean: “…when you put the filler hose fitting on the tire…”?
    2. The proper PSI in NOT the number on the side of the tire. The number on the side of the tire is the maximum for that particular tire. The proper inflation pressure depends on tire size and the weight of the vehicle, and is usually found on a label on the driver’s door or pillar. If not there, it can be found in the owner’s manual. Overinflating to the maximum increases tire wear, makes a harsher ride, and can actually be dangerous because there is less tire patch on the ground.

    Tire pressures should also be checked monthly.

    • American Safety Council May 19, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Cliff! I’ve updated the post and added a few more tips. Thanks so much for your comment!

      -Lauren K.

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