The Truth About Tire Pressure

Tire Pressure

Why Tire Pressure Matters

While it may seem inconsequential, your tire pressure can have significant impact on fuel economy, vehicle safety, and performance. Checking and maintaining tire pressure is easy. In fact, many modern vehicles are equipped with electronic sensors that allow you to check tire pressure without even getting out of your car. Even if your vehicle lacks this modern convenience, an inexpensive pressure gauge will get the job done.

What If I Don’t Check?

If you fail to properly maintain your tire pressure you will likely be paying more for gas, prematurely wearing your tires, and potentially endangering yourself and your passengers.

Gas Mileage

Tire pressure of 6 PSI below the recommended pressure can reduce fuel economy by as much as five percent. Studies indicate that most people keep their tires at about 80% of the recommended pressure. With typical vehicle mileage of about 12,000 per year,  the average driver spends an additional $500 per year on gasoline. Hmmm? Five minutes per month to maintain proper tire pressure could save you $500.00 a year?

Tire Wear

Low tire pressure can reduce tire life expectancy by up to 25%, meaning you’ll be replacing them more often. With an average price of over one hundred dollars for a new tire, failing to check and maintain your tire’s pressure can get pretty costly.

In severe cases, low tire pressure can cause the tire to fail, leaving you and your family stranded, or worse.

Vehicle Safety

Tires that are under inflated take longer to stop, especially on wet pavement. Low tire pressure can also affect handling with low tires more likely to skid on both wet and dry surfaces. In fact, many experts believe that low tire pressure is a factor in many SUV rollover accidents.

What Can You Do?

At least once a month you should check your tire pressure to ensure that they are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Everything from leaks to outside air temperature can affect tire pressure, so checking on a regular basis is required.

You can find the recommended tire pressure on the tire itself (typically in raised print on the sidewall).  When refilling your tires, be wary of over inflating as well. Over inflated tires are just as problematic as under inflated ones.