It’s a standard recommendation that too few motorists and auto owners follow – to check their air pressures of their tires. Simply checking your tire’s air pressures you will increase both your mpg gas mileages , extend the life span of your set of tires , improved ride and handling and perhaps as well prevent expensive mechanical repairs and damage to your truck ,car or SUVs mechanical components . Its as simple as routinely checking tire pressures with simple to use air pressure testing gauges or asking the kid at the gas station , your mechanic or service tech at your local auto dealership to do the task.
The general recommendation in the auto service trades and car owner’s manuals are generally to check the tires once a month – including your spare tire. Your spare tire can be a little hard to reach under the junk in your trunk, in a truck bed or in the case of older classic VW Beetles under the hood of your automobile.
Under-inflation is usually the case, yet over-inflation can be just as serious if not dangerous. Under-inflation causes excessive tread wear and can affect steering and road handling safety. Fuel consumption as well can go way up as does tire tread wear. You can ditto the above for over-inflation of tires except for perhaps improved fuel economies and a very harsh ride and very dangerous and poor braking.
How do you check the air pressures of your tires? First of all the recommended tires pressures are usually listed on a sticker on the driver’s door area or door jamb. If the sticker is gone – perhaps the driver’s door areas and door jamb pillar was repaired ,replaced or repainted after an auto accident or collision – then check your owner’s manual or recommended service schedule booklet in your glove box. Once you know the recommended tire pressures (and these can vary depending on vehicle load) – take out your tire pressure gauge. Usually it’s recommended at present that tire pressures be measured when the car has not been driven and the tires are cold. It’s a well known fact of science and physics that air expands when hot or heated. Thus a tire that reads a proper mid range 32 psi when hot after being driven , or in the hot sun could well be an under inflated 25 pounds per square inch hours later when cool. Hence wait several hours or early morning before driving if necessary to measure the tire air pressures if you have been driving the car, truck or SUV. If it’s the hot summertime – pull your auto into the shade and wait a good period of time to let the tires cool down before taking the count.
Generally tire pressures in cars should be the same across the board to all. However in cases of trucks and serious load carrying – say a truck with a heavy load being carried your owner’s manual may recommend higher pressures in the tires in the rear which support those heavy weight loads.
It’s a simple process to employ to check your vehicle’s tires air pressures on a regular, routine and ongoing basis. Make it a habit and you will be rewarded
Kenneth B. Danny
25 years experience in the Canadian automotive sales and vehicle repair industries
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