Tire Pressure

So, how often should you check your tire pressure? At Suburban Tire, we recommend at least once a month, if not more frequently. A lot of factors affect tire pressure and they won’t necessarily appear under or over inflated to the naked eye. Additionally, tire pressure changes with the weather—it decreases by about 1lb per every 10 degrees drop in temperature. So if the last time you checked it was in August, by December your tires could be dangerously underinflated.

You can typically find the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle in the driver’s manual or on the driver’s side door. Don’t make the mistake of using the pressure listed on the tires themselves—this is the maximum amount of air your tire can hold, not the recommended amount.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Next to brakes, a vehicle’s tires are its most important safety feature. As the only part of the car that comes in direct contact with the road, it’s crucial that they are well maintained. Proper tire inflation ensures that the vehicle is running smoothly and efficiently and can even improve fuel economy. Consequently, newer vehicles come with a built in Tire Pressure Monitoring System that warns the driver when tire pressure is low via a light on the dashboard. The system is composed of sensors attached to each wheel that transmit information to the vehicle’s computer. When tire inflation is low, the sensors send a signal to the computer which then alerts the driver. If your TPMS light comes on, bring your car in immediately. It’s dangerous to drive with low tire pressure and waiting to get a puncture fixed could lead to more serious problems. Additionally, at Suburban Tire, we recommend that the TPMS sensors be replaced according to manufacturer suggested intervals.

Over Inflated Tires

Tires are one of the most important safety features of your car. As the only part of the vehicle that comes in direct contact with the road, they are crucial to its drivability. When properly inflated, tires will ensure that your car is running smoothly and efficiently. Poorly maintained tires, however, will negatively affect the stability of your vehicle, cornering, and your ability to brake effectively. Think about it, if a tire’s pressure is too high, not enough of its surface will come in contact with the road. More specifically, an over inflated tire will start to bulge in the center of its tread, causing your car to feel bouncy. You might also experience a noticeable decrease in traction and stopping distances. If left unfixed, the tread in the center the tire will completely wear away while the outer edges remain normal. Cars with built in Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems will alert you if your tires are over inflated, otherwise, don’t hesitate to bring your car in–one of Suburban Tire’s expert technicians would be happy to take a look at them!

Under Inflated Tires

While over inflated tires create a bulge in the center of the tread, under inflated tires do the exact opposite. A tire with low pressure will curve in at the center and protrude around the edges. Think of it this way, when a tire has less air in it, a greater portion of its surface is coming into contact with the ground. This will increase the amount of friction between rubber and road, ultimately causing premature wear. Under inflated tires will decrease the efficiency of your vehicle and negatively affect its fuel economy. At Randy’s Automotive, we recommend that you check your tire pressure regularly.