Have you checked your Tire Pressure lately?
Tire pressure is a measure of the amount of air in your car’s tires, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). You should be checking your tire pressure routinely to ensure that your tires are inflated to their optimal pressure for your particular vehicle.
Why is correct tire pressure important?
Having the correct tire pressure is important for a few reasons, including safety, fuel economy and the life of your tires. Next to your brakes, your tires probably have the most impact on your driving safety. If your tire pressure is off, it can affect braking, cornering and the overall stability of your vehicle. With the correct tire pressure, your tires will last longer, save fuel and improve the handling of your car, preventing accidents.
Correct tire pressure will give you comfort, durability and you will experience the intended performance of your vehicle..
Disadvantages of under or over inflation
Underinflated tires don’t maintain their proper shape and get flatter than intended where they touch the road. The tire will bend more as it rolls over the road, which will reduce the life of the tire and could lead to tire failure. Driving on underinflated tires creates unintended heat inside the tire which increases resistance, reduces fuel economy and reduces the life of your tire.
Overinflated tires are stiff and have reduced contact with the road, creating safety issues. Stiff overinflated tires have less flexibility when rolling over bumps and potholes in the road, which creates the risk of damaging the tires. If there’s too much air in your tires, your car will deliver a harsher, bumpier ride.
What is the correct tire pressure?
You will find the maximum allowable pressure for your tires on the sidewall of the tire itself, usually near the manufacturer logo. You will be looking for something like, “Max. Press. 32 PSI.” This is the maximum cold pressure recommended for your tire.
You will find the optimal manufacturer recommended tire pressure for your vehicle on the sticker in the driver’s side door panel. (If you don’t find it here, check your owner’s manual.) This pressure may vary from the pressure on the tire’s sidewall, however, and is the pressure recommended when the tires are used on your exact vehicle. The recommended tire pressure is almost always lower than the maximum tire pressure. We recommend going by this number to maximize your vehicle’s performance.
Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly – about once a month, or every other gas station fill-up. They could easily be over or under inflated by 10 pounds – don’t trust your eyes, use a gauge.
To check your tire pressure, you will need an accurate pressure gauge. Canadian Tire has several available: the dial type or digital gauges tend to be the most accurate, but a pencil style gauge also works in a pinch. Try to avoid the air meters at service stations, they tend to be inaccurate due to overuse, abuse and exposure.
When you check your car’s tire pressure, make sure the tires are cold. The best times to measure are first thing in the morning, or after the car has been parked for a few hours (in the shade) to lower the temperature of the tire.
How to Check Your Tire Pressure
- Check the optimum pressure on the inside of the door panel or in your owner’s manual.
- Check the maximum allowable pressure on the tire’s sidewall.
- Compare the two to ensure the vehicle’s recommended pressure doesn’t exceed the maximum allowable pressure.
- Unscrew the valve stem cap on the tire – the valve stem is about the width of a pencil and extends from the tire near the hubcap.
- Press your pressure gauge evenly onto the valve stem and record the reading – if you head the hissing of air escaping the tire, they gauge is not on straight. (If you’re using a digital gauge, you may need to press a button to retrieve the measurement.)
- If the reading matches the vehicle’s recommended pressure specifications, you’re good to go! If not, then you will need to adjust the air by either adding or releasing air. Most service stations have either free or coin operated compressed air for customers’ convenience.
- When you’re done, replace the valve stem cap.
- Repeat for all 4 tires.