Tires are a very important component to your vehicle, without them you could not get from A to B. Tires need to be looked after and eventually need replacing, for convenience and affordability you can now buy tires online and have them fitted by your local installer.
Purchasing higher quality tires from brands such as Yokohama can reduce the time between having to fork out for new sets and keep your vehicle costs down overall.
Keeping your tires inflated to the correct level can extend their life and has a number of other benefits.
Here, we look at the warning signs that your tire air pressure needs to be looked at, as well as the consequences of leaving tires without the correct inflation and when the best time to check is:
What are the warning signs that your tires are either under or over inflated?
Loss of traction
Loss of traction is a symptom of either under or over inflated tires. If your tires are over inflated, the contact patch size becomes smaller and only the center part of the tire has contact with the road as it bulges out.
Also, low tire pressure can cause the sidewalls of the tire to flex and cause poor handling, you may notice that your braking distance has increased in these incidents.
Excessive wear on the center treads
Naturally, the tread on tires begins to wear over time as you drive more and more journeys. As this begins to happen, you can look to see if the tread is wearing most on the outside or inside of the tire surface.
If your tire is over inflated, you will be able to see that the center treads have worn down significantly more than the rest of the tire.
If you have less air in your tires than what is needed, you may notice your car vibrating. The steering wheel may even begin to shake.
In this case, your tires have become misaligned due to being under inflated.
Uncomfortable to drive
However, if over-inflated you are also in for an uncomfortable ride and the grip decreases. When this happens, you are more likely to feel every little bump that your car drives over as a properly inflated tire is designed to absorb some of the shock.
What are the consequences of having over/under inflated tires on your car and the dangers of these?
Increase likelihood of a car accident
Aside from poor traction, lack of comfort and excessive wear, not having the correct air pressure in your tires can be very dangerous. Reducing grip and increasing braking time can make you more likely to be in an accident, putting both you and other road users at risk of injury.
This risk increases in poor weather as ice or lots of water on the road can also increase braking distance. Also, having over inflated tires can increase the risk of tires blowing out dramatically, this is particularly dangerous when driving on a highway or driving at fast speeds as you are likely to lose control of the car.
Poor fuel economy
For under inflated tires, you will notice that the frequency of trips to the gas station has increased. As lack of air pressure reduces fuel economy, you will be spending more money than usual on gas. This is an unnecessary expense that is easily resolved.
This is also bad for the environment and if you are trying to minimize your carbon footprint, poor tire maintenance will be hindering your efforts.
What is the best tire pressure for your car and when is the best time to check your tire pressure?
There is not one perfect tire pressure for all tires and this optimum pressure varies between different models of vehicle and different types of tires. Most vehicles will have the optimum pressure listed on a sticker on the inside of the car door or in the handbook of the car, you can also google it or look on the manufacturer’s website.
Check your tire pressure and tire treads at least monthly and more if you drive long distances. Check before a long road trip, and once you’ve inflated them, check the pressure with a gauge once again to rule out over inflation.