Weather plays a big part in your tyre’s pressure. Hot weather may cause your tyres to over inflate whereas colder weather may cause them to under inflate.
In a previous article we gave a general overview of how best to care for your tyres in summer and thought we’d go in depth this time about tyre pressures.
1. Why have the correct tyre pressure?
Safety – Under inflated tyres can overheat causing blow-outs; over inflated tyres affect the vehicle’s handling and grip causing unpredictable vehicle behaviour
Economy –Under or over inflated tyres suffer more damage and therefore need to be replaced more regularly
Environment – correct tyre pressure helps to maintain optimum fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions
2. What happens if your tyre is under inflated?
Not only can under inflated tyres overheat causing blow-outs but can lead to poor handling of your vehicle. If tyre pressures dip below 30% of the recommend pressure there is a higher chance in your vehicle in aquaplaning. Also tests show that braking distances increase.
3. What happens if your tyre is over inflated?
Over inflation reduces the contact patch between your car and the road leading to very bad grip levels.
4. How often should you check your tyre pressure?
Regularly, at least once a month and before embarking on any long trips. Check all your tyres including the spare. More air is lost during warmer weather so you will need to check more regularly when the temperatures rise.
5. How is the pressure calculated?
Pressure is calculated by measuring the amount of air pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds force (PSI) or BAR pressure.
6. How do you know what the correct pressure should be for your tyres?
The AA have got a great tyre pressure look up service.
You will need to check the two different sets of pressures – One for “normal” driving conditions and the other for loaded vehicles (ie with extra people or heavy items). You will also need a tyre pressure gauge or you can use the gauge at garages and petrol stations (on the inflation equipment).
If you don’t feel comfortable carrying out a tyre pressure check yourself then drop by MEB, and we will happily carry out it for you.