You’ve probably heard before that maintaining proper tire inflation is important, but we want to make certain you understand that NOTHING is more important than maintaining proper tire inflation if you want your tires to last longer and be trouble free. Since more tires are ruined because of improper tire inflation than for any other reason, we felt it was important to provide you with some helpful reminders.
Maintaining correct tire inflation pressure helps with the following:
- Optimize tire performance and fuel economy
- Allows drivers to experience tire comfort, durability and performance designed to match the needs of their vehicles.
- Tire deflection (the tread and sidewall flexing where the tread comes into contact with the road) will remain as originally designed
- Excessive sidewall flexing and tread squirm will be avoided
- Heat buildup will be managed
- Rolling resistance will be appropriate
- Stabilize the tire’s structure, blending the tire’s responsiveness, traction and handling
- Tires more retreadable after their first life is over
- More trouble free days behind the wheel
- Less money being spent on tires!
The lower the air pressure in the casing, the more the tire will flex, and the hotter it will run – shortening the life of the tire.
Ideally, drivers should do air pressure checks during pre-trip inspections of vehicles and use a proper, calibrated air pressure gauge.
The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual.
Follow these steps when checking your air pressure ( from Rubbers Manufacturers Association):
1. When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool — meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
2. Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.
3. Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
4. Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
5. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
6. Replace the valve cap.
7. Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
8. Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
9. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
The Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB) has a wealth of important information about how to properly maintain your tires, with a special emphasis on proper tire inflation. For a FREE packet call or send an email today and be sure to give them your complete mailing address. Their toll free number from the U.S. or Canada is 888-473-8732 and their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.