Tire Pressure, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, you will be surprised!
Tire pressure is the easiest thing to check on your car as far as preventative maintenance goes, yet many people neglect doing this simple task.
If you have tire pressure monitors, I will discuss them at the end of this blog, a must read.
our tires support the weight of your vehicle, right? Actually they don’t! It’s the air inside them that actually supports the weight. Maintaining sufficient air pressure is extremely important if your tires are to provide all of the handling, traction and durability that they are designed for. However, you can’t set tire pressure…and then forget about it! Tire pressure has to be checked periodically to ensure that changes in ambient temperatures or small tread punctures have not caused it to drop.
While tires appear solid, the molecular structure of the rubber used to manufacturer them actually looks like strands of fabric that are held together with cured rubber. These strands are stretched and returned to their relaxed state 6,000 times for every kilometer. Your tires do a lot of heavy duty work. Since the spec tire pressures range from 30 to 35 psi for cars (with light truck tire pressures often higher), there is a constant force trying to push the air through the tire. Few people know that this actually allows some of the air to escape (called permeation) right through the microscopic spaces between the rubber molecules. Much like a rubber balloon, the air will eventually escape and it needs to be replenished. Your tire’s inflation pressure will drop about 1 psi every month. This means that if air isn’t added for two to three months, the tire’s inflation pressures will probably be 2 to 3 psi low.
Effects of low tire pressure:
An underinflated tire can’t maintain its shape and becomes flatter than intended while in contact with the road. If a vehicle’s tires are underinflated by only 6 psi it weakens the tire’s internal structure and eventually leads to tire failure. Lower inflation pressures will allow more deflection, causing a build up excessive internal heat, increase the rolling resistance (causing a reduction in fuel economy of up to 5%) and reduce the tire’s tread life by as much as 25% while increasing the probability of irregular tread wear. You could also find a noticeable loss of steering precision and cornering stability.
While 6 psi doesn’t seem excessively low, it represents about 20% of a passenger car tire’s recommended pressure. Now for you folks that have tire pressure monitors, read this carefully.
Many newer vehicles come equipped with a tire pressure monitor inside each tire. When functioning properly these warn the driver of tire problems including loss of pressure. When they malfunction and they often do, they need to be repaired or you will have a continuous misleading message on your dash and you will not really know what your tires actual condition is. They can malfunction for different reasons therefore diagnosis is required. Once repaired there is an intensive re-learn procedure required to re-set the monitor. Although having tire pressure monitors is a convenience, they can be nightmare when they act up. Another important thing to know is if you install winter tires that are on different rims, the rims must be outfitted with tire pressure monitors compatible with your vehicle.
You can depend on Haney Automotive for your tire pressure monitor repairs. We also, for your convenience can supply all of your tire requirements at very competitive pricing.