If you are doing the regular maintenance of your automobile I assume you are also doing a check-up of your tires. Otherwise, you should seriously consider doing it right away at least once a month or every time you have a big road trip planned. One of the main things you should check with your tires is the pressure, you might ask why? These 6 reasons will enlighten you on the importance of tire pressure and why it matters.
1. Definition of tire pressure. You learned it in school that all matter is made up of tiny particles that are constantly on the move depending on how closely packed they are. When things always move around there will come a time when you bump into something and when it happens heat is generated. As the bumping happens more and more heat is generated and the moving of the particles quicken, and it is a cycle. In simple words, increased motion increases the pressure in a particular area. When applied with tire pressure, the air in the tires is continuously hitting the walls of the tires thus creating the pressure. It is important to check the tire pressure when the tire is cool otherwise the heat generated from driving will affect the internal pressure and may result in an inaccurate reading.
2. Is the tire pressure right for your vehicle? You can check your tire pressure in several places and if you do make sure to look for the recommended rather than the maximum tire pressure. If you see a number written on the tire wall this signifies the maximum pressure the tire can handle without bursting and shouldn’t be the basis when filling your tires. You can find the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle manual or inside the driver’s side door.
3. When to check the tires? Any time of the day is okay to check your tires as long as they are cool. It means you haven’t taken your car anywhere yet for the day or four hours had passed since you’ve driven. This way you can assure that the tire pressure is settled enough for you to get an accurate reading.
4. How often should the tires be checked? Check your tires regularly at least once a month, quarterly, or before any big road trips. Always remember that every 10 degrees more or less than the ambient temperature change especially during the change of season can influence the tire pressure by one pound per square inch. The transition from fall to winter might result in the under-inflation of the tires while the transition from winter to spring could result in over-inflation. If the tire pressure happens to be higher than the recommended on a hot day, you can expect it to pop from over-inflation.
5. What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)? The Tire Pressure Monitoring System can warn you when you need to check your tire but it also couldn’t in 2007, Congress passed a law requiring all future vehicles to have a TPMS. This is an attempt to prevent any accidents caused by under-inflation however it doesn’t alert you if your tires are over-inflated since the TMPS is only designed to monitor under-inflation.
6. How to check tire pressure? The best way to check your tire pressure is by using a dial-type or digital gauge instead of a pencil gauge. To use it, you need to unscrew the cap covering the pressure outlet then zero out the gauge. Press the gauge firmly to the outlet ensuring a good seal. Use compressed air to fill up the tire if the pressure reads below the recommended. Otherwise, press the little post on the gauge against the column in the center of the outlet letting a bit of pressure out. Check each tire individually including the spare ones.
The tire pressure is as important as the brake system of your vehicle thus it is crucial to your safety. Make it a habit to monitor it closely by setting a monthly reminder.