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Fall and Tire Pressure: What You Need to Know

October is here. This means a number of things. While things certainly look pretty and feel nice during this seasonal change, autumn also brings some challenges for vehicle owners. The same temperature drop that brings out the sweaters and jack ‘o lanterns can also be responsible for a few car troubles. Luckily, these troubles can mostly be taken care by following some basic tips.

Tire pressure is usually the first the to go when the temperature drops. The process is pretty simple: the air pressure drops outside, and the air pressure drop in your tires. But how and when should you monitor these changes? How low it too low? And what are the dangers of ignoring under-inflated tires? Read on to find out.

How to Monitor Tire Pressure

  • Your owner’s manual will let you know how much pressure your tires should have. Bring it with you when you fill your tires up. Many gas stations offer free tire air pumps.
  • Make sure your tires are cool before checking the pressure.
  • Use a gage to see where you pressure is at.
  • Pop the cap of a tire, fill it up using the air pump.
  • Check the pressure with the gage. 
  • Repeat these steps until your pressure matches the pressure your owner’s manual recommends.

For detailed instructions and troubleshooting, check the Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) recommendations.  

When Should You Monitor Your Tire Pressure?

The DMV recommends monitoring your tire pressure “in times of high gas prices; in inclement driving conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or ice” to make your car more fuel-efficient and safe. Additionally, cold weather should get you out to check out the pressure. Temperature change leads to pressure change, and maintaining proper levels will keep your vehicle in tip-top shape.

The Dangers of Ignoring Low Pressure

Low tire pressure can be serious. After all, your tires are the things which keep your wheels fixed to the pavement. You need them at their best if you want the rest of your car at its best. 

  • Efficiency. As the DMV reminded us, low pressure makes your car’s fuel efficiency drop. With gas prices being what they are, you do not want to lose fuel efficiency. Good pressure is good business.
  • Safety. Low pressure can be dangerous. One National Highway Safety Administration report stated that cars with “underinflated tires are three times more likely to be involved in an accident linked to tire problems than those with tires inflated to the correct pressure,” citing rubber stretching leading to tire failure as prime problems. 
  • Money. Car accidents can cost you a fortune, especially when they’re demonstrably your fault. By keeping on top of your tire pressure, you can ensure that tire issues are the other guy’s problems, not yours. Additionally, keeping your tires full will save you the maintenance costs of other wear and tear issues; off-kilter tires will damage other parts of you auto.

Piece of Mind. In addition to money saved, you’ll be grateful knowing that you’ve personally made our road system a safer, more peaceful place.

Fall and Tire Pressure: What You Need to Know Reviewed by Brandon on 12:40 PM Rating: 5

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