With winter around the corner, it’s essential to take care of your car.
Cold weather can lead to decreased tire pressure and hazardous driving conditions, but with some proactive maintenance, you’ll be ready for whatever nature has in store.
Make sure that tires are adequately inflated before venturing out this season; a few moments today will ensure safety on the road tomorrow.
Understanding the Risks: The Impact of Cold Weather on Tire
As winter approaches and temperatures take a dip, drivers must be mindful of fluctuating tire pressure.
A mere 10℉ drop in temperature can mean losing one to two pounds per square inch (PSI); that’s up to 4 PSI over the weekend. By managing your tires’ air pressure accordingly, you’ll keep yourself safe on the road this season.
Low tire pressure can mean big problems for your car, such as:
- Decreased stopping power, due to extended braking time and greater susceptibility to skidding on wet surfaces
- Poorer fuel economy caused by a 0.2% decrease in gas mileage per 1 PSI drop of average tire pressure according to the U.S Department of Energy stats
- Diminished lifetime expectancy resulting in having to replace tires more often than normal – leading you down an expensive path nobody wants you walking
— CDNSuperShop (@CDNSuperShop) January 27, 2023
It’s easy to overlook a small decrease in tire pressure, but it can still have major consequences for your driving.
Don’t let winter temperatures lull you into thinking all is well; be sure to check your vehicle tires every other time at the pump and especially when TPMS lights appear on dashboards.
Ensuring Proper Inflation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Checking Tire Pressure
DETERMINING SAFE AND OPTIMAL TIRE PRESSURE
To ensure safe and efficient driving, it’s essential to know your vehicle’s advised tire tension.
This information can usually be located in your owner’s guidebook or on a sticker.
For passenger cars, the recommended tire pressure typically falls between 30-35 PSI. In case of uncertainty, use a reliable tire pressure tool for guidance.
EQUIP YOURSELF WITH ACCURATE TIRE PRESSURE MEASUREMENT
Tire pressure gauges can be easily obtained at most major retailers for a reasonable price.
The traditional “pencil” style gauges are budget-friendly and provide readings via a small indicator stick. On the other hand, digital tire pressure gauges, although more costly, offer greater ease of use.
ACCESS THE VALVE STEM OF A TIRE.
Locate the valve stem, which is the small screw-cap on the tire’s wheel and can be seen from the outside of the vehicle.
CONNECT THE TIRE PRESSURE GAUGE TO THE VALVE STEM.
Consult the instructions that come with the tire pressure gauge and attach it to the valve stem. If there is a hissing noise during this process, check to ensure the gauge is properly seated on the valve stem.
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NOTE THE TIRE PRESSURE READING.
Once the gauge is connected, take note of the tire’s pressure reading. Repeat this process for each tire.
INFLATE TIRES AS NECESSARY.
If the tire pressure is low, inflate it to reach the recommended level. This may need to be done frequently during winter months. You can do it yourself using a nearby air pump or seek assistance at a professional automotive service center.