There are all kinds of good reasons to have the correct pressure in your vehicle’s tires. With the proper tire pressure, you will get better mileage and save fuel, your tires will experience less wear and tear, and your vehicle will emit less pollution.
Perhaps most importantly, you will be safer in a vehicle with tires that have the right amount of pressure. Here are some helpful tips and reasons to keep the tire pressure at the right level in your vehicle.
1. More is not better
Some people think that inflating your tires to maximum capacity is the way to achieve the benefits of properly inflated tires, but the key is to inflate them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific vehicle. If you are having someone else put air in your tires, make sure you let him or her know this.
The manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle can be found on the tire information placard label, usually located on driver’s side doorjamb. This information is also in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
2. Better gas mileage
Having the correct tire pressure saves fuel, which is good for the planet and easier on your finances. Tires that are underinflated will “drag” along the pavement as too much of the tires’ surface area comes in contact with the road. This increase in friction forces your engine to work harder – and therefore use more gas – to overcome the friction and maintain speed.
3. Less wear and tear
Tires that are underinflated are, as noted above, prone to greater friction against the road. This friction not only increases gas usage; it also increases the tires’ chances of overheating, which can cause the tires’ treads to separate.
Overinflated tires increase the tendency of the vehicle to bounce, making your ride uncomfortable and causing uneven wear – the center of the tire is disproportionately pressed against the pavement while the edges don’t hit the road surface much at all. Overinflated tires are also more prone to puncture.
4. Fewer emissions
The engine of a vehicle traveling on correctly inflated tires does not have to work so hard, thus cutting down on emissions. You use less gas, and less carbon dioxide gets into the air.
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is crucial to vehicle safety. Tires without enough air will compromise your ability to brake in time and turn corners. Not being able to handle your vehicle accurately can be the difference between a dangerous accident and no accident at all.
Also, tires that do not have the correct pressure are more prone to damage, either by overheating such as occurs with underinflation or puncturing which is more likely with overinflated tires. A tire that “blows out” while you are driving can put you and your passengers in great danger.