Is your tire pressure light on? If so, then you need to make sure that’s taken care of.
That light is part of your vehicle’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and it’s meant to warn you that the air pressure in your tires is low. That may not seem like a big deal, but having tires with low air can be dangerous, and can lead to a blowout or a flat tire, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.
Ideally, drivers should be checking the pressure of all of their tires regularly, but that unfortunately isn’t always the case. This is where the TPMS is really useful for drivers.
All tires are made to be kept at a certain air pressure number range, and that range can be found in two places; the owner’s manual for the vehicle, and the decal on your vehicle that you’ll either find in the glove box, or on the door jam on the driver’s side seat. You want to keep your tires filled at this range, to maximize driving comfort and carrying ability. It will also help the fuel economy of your vehicle.
The maximum tire pressure number on the range (which you can find on the sidewall of your tires) should never be exceeded. Having too much air in your tires is just as bad as having too little, and it will cause stress on the tire that will damage it, and it may also lead to a blowout.
There are some benefits in decreasing your tire’s inflation pressure that you should know about. When you decrease the pressure, in some cases it can improve your vehicle’s ride quality, while also making the tire soften and potentially improving traction. But when you lower the pressure, again there’s the lowered fuel economy, and reduced carry weight for your vehicle. Also, it’s important to note that a low tire wears out fast. Because of the low air, there’s more resistance to rolling, as well as more flexing in your tire scrubs that reduces your tire’s tread. Over time, this will wear your tire down and lead to needing to replace your tires.
So what you’re looking for is a balance. You want to keep your vehicle’s tires within the specified range, and make sure that you’re checking the pressure regularly. At Steve’s Auto Repair & Tire we can assist with your tires and your TPMS, to help keep you safely on the road.