Tire pressure is something we often don’t pay much attention to. But if not inflated properly it can cause a myriad of problems. Low pressure can damage your tires and in the worst cases can even be dangerous. To optimize tire performance and fuel economy it’s important to keep an eye on your tire pressure.
How low tire pressure affects your car’s performance
1. Low pressure can cause your tires to blow out
Definitely one of the most dangerous consequences of driving with tires that have not been inflated properly. And one you want to avoid at all costs. When tires are underinflated it causes the sidewall to flex excessively. Which means it touches the road more and the friction causes tires to overheat and blow out. When this happens you can lose control of the car and it can be very traumatic. A standard pressure of 30-35 psi should always be maintained to avoid the same.
2. Low pressure reduces tire life
Braking takes longer when tire pressure is low, especially if roads are wet. The
increased contact with the road and consequent overheating can cause your tires to wear more quickly. It can also cause tread separation. Hence, constantly driving at incorrect pressure will end up costing you in frequent tire changes down the line.
3. Low pressure affects fuel economy
Under-inflated tires can cause a decrease in fuel efficiency. When your tires are not properly inflated it decreases traction and increases the number of times that your tires have to rotate in order to move the same amount of distance.
How to check your tire pressure:
- Using your hand
Push your hand down on the tire. A properly inflated tire will feel solid and hard, ideally it shouldn't give when you push down. If it feels squishy or soft, your pressure is lower than it should be.
- Use a pressure gauge
Remove the valve cap. Place the gauge on the stem and press down till the hissing stops. The gauge should give you a reading of your current tire pressure. 32 psi to 35 psi is ideally where your pressure should be. Make sure you take a reading when the tire is cold for more accurate results.