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Why tire pressure is critical for your vehicle

Person applying pressure to his car wheel

When it comes to safety, your tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle. However, even high-quality tires can be unsafe if they’re improperly inflated. Although often ignored, tire pressure plays a vital role in car safety. Here are two reasons why vehicle tire pressure is so important.

Overinflated and underinflated tires can both cause major safety concerns, like decreased directional stability and poor handling, especially when cornering at high speeds. Furthermore, underinflated tires limit your ability to steer out of danger because they don’t respond well to shifts in orientation and reduce your traction. Underinflation can also cause internal damage to your tires, resulting in a blowout.

1. Economy

Improperly inflated tires wear down quickly and can diminish your fuel economy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average vehicle requires approximately 0.3 per cent more fuel for every PSI level below specifications. This is because underinflation increases rolling resistance. Although this may not seem like much, a difference of only a couple points in each tire can significantly increase your fuel costs. This decrease in efficiency also applies to electric vehicles (EV). For instance, an EV’s battery will require longer, more frequent recharges if its tires are underinflated.

2. What can you do?

Although your mechanic will check your vehicle’s tire pressure at every tune-up, a lot can happen between visits. For instance, changes in season are an especially important time to check your tire pressure because PSI tends to decrease when it gets cold and increase when it gets warm.

It’s a good idea to have a tire pressure gauge on hand and make a habit of using it. You can usually find the correct pounds per square inch (PSI) for your vehicle on a sticker on the inside of the driver-side door. However, let your car sit for at least an hour or two before taking a reading. Driving heats up the air inside your tires and can skew the number.

Trusted tire professionals

At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we know all about vehicles, including the importance of tire pressure. Our experts will ensure you have the driving safety and economy you deserve. Contact the location nearest you today to inquire about our full range of auto services.

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