Proper checkups and maintenance on your car ensure you are safe and your car is running smoothly. It is not just for your safety, but for others driving as well. One of the most important checkups and maintenance that is often overlooked by drivers is checking the pressure of your tires regularly. Car tires do not have to be punctured to leak air, and at times most cars do not alert you to check the tire pressure. If you do not check the pressure and it ends up being very low, it can lead to a flat tire or dangerous driving.
Why is tire pressure important for your car?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, low tire pressure has a higher risk of damage and failure. Not only will they wear out faster, but it can lead to reduced control of your car, tire blowouts, and car crashes. Keeping your tires full has many benefits besides safety! There are also environmental and economic benefits such as your gas mileage is reduced by 0.2% for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) your tire pressure drops below the recommended level. Keeping it at the recommended level will also save you 3% you gas mileage depending on the type of car and your driving habits.
What is PSI (Per Square Inch)?
This is a number determined by your car’s manufacturer. You can use this number to know if your car tires are properly inflated. PSI is based on your cars total weight and size, towing weight capability, and recommended tire size. You should always use the pressure recommended by your car’s manufacturer to ensure it will drive smoothly.
When to check tire pressure:
Even new tires with minimal wear and tear can lose air. Some factors that can affect tire pressure are:
- Hot or cold temperatures.
- Driving distance.
- Towing or carrying extra weight in your car.
Most tire and car manufacturers recommend that you check your tire’s pressure each month. They can lose multiple pounds of pressure due to daily use. Also, it is important to check tire pressure as temperatures outside increase. Tires react very quickly to temperature changes. Hidden damage can also cause decreased air pressure such as leaky valve systems, leaking punctures, and other hidden damage.
How to check tire pressure:
This is a straightforward task that you can do anywhere! Just be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold, or you have not been driving for several hours. The most essential piece of equipment you need is a tire pressure gauge. You can find battery-operated digital gauges or more traditional stick-type gauges at most gas stations. A good gauge should not cost more than $15. Follow these steps once you have your gauges and your manufacturers PSI:
- Remove the end caps on your tires’ air valves.
- Place the tire pressure gauge into the valve and press down quickly to get a reading.
- Check the PSI reading. Compare it to the car’s recommended PSI. Take a few readings to ensure accuracy.
- If the reading is above the recommendation, push the valve to let some air out.
- If the PSI reading is below the recommendation, fill your tire with air until you reach the ideal level.
Overall, it should only take a few minutes!
If you need to add air to your tires, or just want a good car wash, go to Bee Clean Car Washes in San Antonio! We have free air for tires, no purchase necessary! Learn more by visiting our website or stopping by a location!