When it comes to performance and safety, tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. This is why it is critical that your tires are always working properly and regularly maintained. Tire pressure, in particular, is one of the most overlooked aspects of tire maintenance.
Under regular driving conditions, normal tires can lose up to 1 PSI per month. Therefore, you should check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure that they are inflated to the recommended PSI. This article will discuss the importance of tire pressure and why it matters so much for your car’s overall operation.
Dangers of Driving with Under-Inflated Tires
Driving with under-inflated tires can result in a variety of issues for the tires and overall performance. The tire can bend and build up internal heat when the tire pressure is low. Having your tires deflated by as little as 5 or 6 PSI below the recommended pressure (20 percent below) can result in issues such as:
- Reduced fuel economy
- Loss of steering precision
- Reduced cornering stability
- Increased chance of tire failure
- Possibility of throwing alignment off or damaging suspension, since the tires cannot absorb bumps as well
Under-inflated tires can cause your care to feel slower, more “draggy”, and less responsive than normal. In some scenarios, it may also result in additional noises or vibrations when driving, particularly if only one tire is under-inflated.
Dangers of Driving with Over-Inflated Tires
Under-inflation of tires is more common, but over-inflating your tires can also have negative effects. Over-inflated tires by just 5 or 6 PSI can result in effect such as:
- Reduced tire footprint contact with the road
- Higher likelihood of damage to tires when riding over debris or potholes
- Increased risk of hydroplaning in wet conditions (since over-inflated tires have less surface contact with the road)
- A stiffer, harsher ride
In some situations, higher inflation may result in increased steering response and better stability, but it can also lead to a more uncomfortable ride, particularly on bumpier roads.
Improper Inflation and Trad Wear
Improperly inflated tires can negatively affect the way that the treads wear on your tire. Under-inflated tires may result in excessive wear on the shoulders of the tire. In comparison, over-inflation may result in excessive wear on the inner treads of your tires. As you can probably guess, neither of these conditions is ideal.
In the unfortunate event that this occurs, you may need to change your tires sooner than normal because certain areas of the tread have worn more quickly than the rest of your tire. Proper inflation allows for normal tread wear, which means that your tires will last longer overall.
Under or over-inflation is much easier to fix than worn treads. Typically, improper inflation just requires a quick adjustment at the air pump; however, worn treads usually means that you need to replace your tires.
Early tread wear and other tire-related damage can be prevented by schedule regular maintenance checks for your car. Schedule your tire inspection service with Autoworks to ensure your car is running in its best shape! Contact us with the link below for more information!