4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Let Your Tire Pressure Get Low
Driving on tires with inadequate air pressure can be dangerous and expensive. Here are four reasons why you should never let your tire pressure get too low.
1. It causes undue wear on the tires
Low tire pressure can distort your tire’s footprint, which is likely to increase tire wear on its inner and outer shoulder. This type of damage can shorten the longevity of your tires, causing you to require a replacement for them sooner than average.
2. It wastes gas
An underinflated tire creates more resistance when rolling, causing your vehicle to work harder and expend more fuel to go the same distance. Transport Canada estimates that an underinflated tire can increase a car’s fuel consumption by 4%.
3. It may cause tire failure
Low pressure can cause the tire’s sidewalls to flex more and heat to build up within the tire. Together, this can make the rubber separate from the wheel. When this happens while you’re driving, it’s called a blow out and it can make you lose control of your vehicle.
4. It can affect handling
When an underinflated tire’s sidewalls flex, the tread can become distorted, making it less stable and reducing traction. As a result, the tire’s response time is compromised. If you find yourself in an emergency situation with low tire pressure, you could end up in a serious accident.
How To Tell If Your Tire Pressure Is Low
Modern cars come with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that alerts drivers when their tire pressure is too low. It usually appears on the dashboard as a yellow cross section of a tire with an exclamation point in the middle.
If your car doesn’t have a TPMS, checking your tire pressure manually is easy and can be done using a handheld pressure gauge. It’s best to check tire pressure when the car has been stationary for at least three hours, as the heat from driving can distort the reading.
Cold Weather Affects Tire Pressure
When the temperature drops, molecules in the air move slower and clump together. This means that the colder it gets outside, the lower tire pressure can become. Therefore, it’s important to check your pressure regularly when the cold weather arrives and add air as needed.
Visit Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centers Across BC & Alberta for Reliable Auto Repair
If your tires are leaking air, you may need to repair or replace them. Fortunately, the auto maintenance specialists at Minit-Tune and Brake can help. Contact one of our 18 locations in Alberta or B.C. to schedule an appointment.
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