One Aspect of automotive safety is that’s easily overlooked is Tire Pressure. Think about it, all that connects a vehicle to the road is four small patches of tire tread. Shouldn’t those tires receive proper care and attention? Yet, according to the rubber manufacturers association approximately 29 million drivers think tires require no maintenance.. An additional 25 million believe that if a tire doesn’t look under- inflated then there’s no need to check it. Only 11% of drivers properly check tire pressure on a monthly basis.
The fact is understanding the importance of tire pressure is critical to optimizing tire wear, handing response, fuel economy and safety.
Let’s start by talking about a widely misunderstood concept. Max Load Max Pressure because it’s printed on the sidewall of every tire is often assumed that this is the pressure your tires should be inflated too. In fact, this figure indicates the maximum inflation pressure and not the pressure recommended for your particular vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers put inflation information in different places.
Check the door jamb or B-Pillar, Glove Box, Center console, or fuel filler door. The data also may be listed in the vehicles owners manual. In 2003 or newer vehicles the placard most be located on the drivers side door jamb or B-pillar if the vehicle doesn’t have a B-Pillar then the placard is to be placed on the rear edge of the drivers door in addition to the original equipment tire size and recommended inflation pressure vehicle manufacturers must also provide on the placard the vehicle load capacity the combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed ex number of pounds. In the new vehicle owners manual you will frequently find the following information:
Recommended Tire Inflation Pressure
Glossary of Tire Terms
Vehicle Load Limits
Vehicle Manufacturers may also list in the owners manual alternative tire pressures based on load and or speed adhering to the proper tire inflation pressure for your vehicles load capacity information is very important so study your vehicles owners manual. Many people believe that if a tire doesn’t look under inflated then there’s no need to check it. But, that’s simply not true. Tires can appear properly inflated yet not have the recommended air pressure in them.
Did you know that for every 10 degrees of temperature change the air pressure in a tire goes up or down one or two pounds? Did you know that tires may lose a pound of air pressure each month? Well if you can’t remember when you last checked your tire pressure then it’s time to check it. Doing so only takes only a few minutes using an air gauge. Maintaining proper tire pressure will help enhance tread life, fuel economy and vehicle performance. Remember to check your tires air pressure each time you tend to your other auto related routines like washing your car performing other auto related service maintenance such as an oil changes, fluid level checks or even when you are just sweeping out the garage.
The signs of improper inflation appear over time. If your tires are overinflated you will see signs of premature wear on the crown or the center of the tread. If your tires are under-inflated you will see hints of excessive wear or wear at the outer edges of the tire.
There’s an easy way to check to see if the tire is approaching wear out located within the grooves about every quarter of the way around the tire you will find wear indicator bars to show you the amount of remaining tread life. If tread depth is even with the wear bar it’s time to replace the tire. Another time honored method is the penny test. Insert a penny upside down into one of the treads grooves if any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread then you still have some use in the tire. But, if you can see all of his head it’s tire replacement time. Questions about what tire pressure is right for your tires? Effingham Tire Repair has the answers call us if you have questions 217-531-1836