Many car owners think that when they over inflate their tires, they can expect better fuel efficiency and more responsive handling. Even those who buy used trucks for sale that over inflating their tires would improve the condition of their vehicle. However, the truth is that over inflated tires can be dangerous.
If you want the best fuel efficiency and handling possible for your vehicle, then it would be advisable to follow the manufacturer-recommended tire pressure level. Your manual will tell you what the optimum tire pressure for your car is. Keep in mind that these numbers were determined through a series of tests and studies for each car model, with consideration to the following factors:
- Driving comfort
- Tread life and tire wear
- Fuel efficiency
Why it is not Recommended to Over inflate your Tires
When you exceed the manufacturer-recommended pressure levels, your tires will wear out sooner than expected. It is worth noting that tires tend to round out on the tread section when they are over inflated. Consequently, the center wears out at a faster rate than the outer edges. It is possible that your tires will only reach half their actual lifespan.
Aside from that, over inflating your tires can also cause traction loss. Even when you drive on regular roads and conditions, over inflated tires can cause your vehicle to lose traction. This would lead to accidents. This problem becomes especially evident during the winter season. Your rides can become harsher as well. When tires are over inflated, they tend to give a bumpier rider. Needless to say, you will feel every dip in the road.
How to Check your Tire Pressure
It is recommended for every driver to own a digital tire gauge. This is one of the items you can keep in the glove compartment. You can also keep a notebook where you can write down the tire pressure and the fuel economy. Here are the steps in checking your tire pressure:
- Check the recommended pressure level. You can find the information in the manual or the doorjamb on the driver’s side.
- Make sure that the tires are already cooled down before you check the tire pressure.
- Remove the valve cap and keep it in a safe place where you won’t lose it.
- Get the tire gauge and press it onto the valve stem. You might hear a slight hiss when you do this and again as you release the gauge. Keep it pressed onto the valve stem for a second or two until you get an accurate reading.
- Attach the valve stem cap by rotating it clockwise.
How to Let Air Out of your Tires
As we’ve mentioned, you will find the manufacturer-recommended pressure level on the tire’s sidewall. Here’s how to let air out of over inflated tires:
- Remove the cap from the stem by rotating it counterclockwise. Inside the center of the stem, you will find a metal pin.
- Get a flat-head screwdriver and place its top over the top of the metal pin, then press it inward. The tire will begin to release air through the valve stem.
- Remove the screwdriver, then take your gauge to check the tire pressure.
- Repeat the steps until you get the ideal tire pressure. Make sure you attach the cap back to the valve stem.
Some Tips in Maintaining the Right Tire Pressure
- Most types of tire pressure gauges can be bought from auto parts stores.
- If you want to release air from your tires to get your vehicle unstuck from sand or mud, take out about half the air in the tires.