Tires: the right pressure to save and be safe
Tires are the only point of contact between vehicle and road; therefore, they play a key role in vehicle safety. Incorrect tire pressure can compromise cornering, braking and stability, preventing tire from performing its function properly.
A recent survey found that 40% of drivers check their tire pressure levels less than once a year. Principal causes? Laziness, carelessness and false sense of savings.
Driving with incorrect tire pressure can affect vehicle’s handling, and can seriously compromise safety. See below how tire pressure can affect safety:
- Greater tread wear. A tire which is 20% under- inflated can give 20% less mileage;
- Increased braking distance;
- Higher fuel consumption. Low tire pressure increases both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Tires under inflated by 1 bar lead to 6% higher fuel consumption;
- Greater risk of aquaplaning.
How to determine correct tire pressure for your vehicle?
The correct pressure for your vehicle can normally be found in your owner's manual, and typically ranges between 2 and 3 bars. It's good to remember that winter tires require different pressure than summer ones.
How to check your car tire pressure?
To test your tire pressure, you need an accurate pressure gauge. Check pressure when tires are cold. As you drive your car, friction causes tires to heat up, increasing pressure inside the tire.
Vehicles equipped with TPMS, an electronic system designed to monitor air pressure inside the tires, alert drivers when at least one tire deflates below the recommended pressure level. Pay attention, however, to vehicles equipped with indirect TPMS that works with Antilock Braking System (ABS), as in this case tire pressure is not actually measured but only deduced, so it may potentially be incorrect.
How often should I check my vehicle's tire pressure?
Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before/after any long journeys.
How do I know if the tire is not inflated properly?
Contact surface size grows as tire pressure decreases; this causes high fuel consumption and tire wear on the outside edges of the tread. Overinflating reduces the contact surface area, causing the tire to wear down in the middle of the tread.
Uneven and irregular tread wear are also signs of incorrect inflation pressure.
What causes tire pressure loss?
Tires are typically inflated with air that's a combination of miscellaneous gases. And since all gases expand when heated and reduce when cooled, tire inflation pressure rises and falls with changes in temperature by about one psi (pound per square inch) for every 10° Fahrenheit change in temperature.
A tire loses some of its pressure through natural causes, typically up to 0.06 bars per month. Pressure loss may be accelerated also by other air leaks due to an accidental puncture, damaged valve or wheel. We can therefore conclude that maintaining correct tire pressure is important to ensure both safety and fuel economy. And for this reason, Giuliano Industrial decided to equip (standard or optional depending on model) all its tire changers with tire inflation systems.
Entrust tire professionals using Giuliano products, designed for your tires safety, as well as your own one.