What is Your Correct Tire Pressure?

March 10th, 2013 by

improperly inflated tiresHaving your tires properly inflated is one those small maintenance things can make a huge difference in how your vehicle performs. Look at most tires on the road though and you’ll notice that they’re drastically under-inflated.

What most of these drivers don’t realize is that they’re dramatically decreasing their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. It can also lead to uneven wear, which is pretty unsafe. The less inflated your tires, the more friction there is between you and the road. That means that your car has to spend more gas to gain momentum.

So how do you know exactly what your proper tire pressure is? Don’t follow the numbers listed on the actual tire. That’s the tire’s max pressure as determined by the tire manufacturer. What you want is the pressure specified by your vehicle’s maker, as that accounts for the weight of your car, truck, minivan, or SUV.

Look on the inside sill of your driver side door. You should see a sticker. There you should see the proper pressure for your tires. If you can’t find the sticker, check your vehicle’s manual (if, for some reason, you don’t have your manual handy, you can usually search the internet for specs like these too). All you need now is a pressure gauge and a pump. You can find both at most gas stations.

Your Tires Do a Lot More than You Think

Besides making sure that your tires are always properly inflated, there are a few other things you can do to make sure that you get the most life out of them. The first is to follow your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule. Your manufacturer should lay out specific intervals for when you should be getting your wheels aligned and your tires rotated.

If you look at the bottom of your shoes, chances are that one side is more worn than the other. You tend to place more weight on a certain part of your foot, causing that area of the sole to wear faster than other parts.

The same goes for your car, swapping out shoes for tires. Wheel alignments help to correct the this misappropriation of weight. Inevitably, there will always be at least of small bit of uneven weight. Having your tires rotated helps to even out wear, increasing their life and ability to do their job.

As your car’s only contact with the road, the quality of your tires determine a lot of things. For example, the quality of your tires could be the difference between hitting an obstacle or stopping well in front of it. Your brakes could work splendidly, but with no grip from your tires, it doesn’t matter much.

Be a pro. Be aware of your tires and know how proper maintenance can keep you safe.