May 30

Proper Tire Inflation

Car Maintenance


Did you know that keeping your tires properly inflated saves you money on fuel, optimizes your safety and maximizes your tire life?

Did you also know that it is easy to check your own tire pressures?

Finally, did you know that you must use a tire guage to properly set tire pressures?
Proper Tire Inflation
Yes, properly inflated tires save money on gas. When tires are under inflated, rolling resistance increases and that causes your engine to burn more fuel. Additionally, under inflated tires are dangerous because they run hotter and in extreme circumstances can blow out. Under or over inflated tires will cause the treads to wear unevenly and this shortens tire life.

Inspecting your tire pressures once a month can easily rectify all of this. You must use a tire guage and not your eyes. Why? Because most tires, when properly inflated have bulging sidewalls and look slightly flat.

Here’s how to do it right:

First, find the proper inflation for your vehicle. This is usually found on a tag in the driver’s or passenger’s door jam but may be found on your glove box door or fuel door.

Second, check your tires when cold: when your vehicle has been stopped for at least three hours or has not been driven more than 2 km.

In some circumstances using other than the vehicle recommended pressures is better. Examples are: 1) in the case of some SUV vehicles that have low manufacturer recommended pressures designed to give a soft ride and 2) if high performance or off-road tires are installed which require different pressures.

For the SUV concern, some have 26PSI as the recommended fill and I would not do less that 30PSI. It will slightly roughen the ride but add a margin of safety. For the high performance or off-road tires, these manufacturers will have their own recommendations. Find out what they are and use that pressure.

So there you have it, a simple to do, routine service with the benefit of saving you money and increasing your safety.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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