Dated: 19 February 2010
The Importance Of Getting Tyre Pressure Correct
One of the most important things that you can do to maintain the general health of your tyre is keep its pressure at an optimum level. This can be harder than it seems. To the eye it is sometimes hard to tell whether a tyre is inflated to a safe level.
Every month, even without a puncture, a tyre loses up to two pounds of air. This can be more or less depending on the time of year (tyre pressure is affected by temperature). If your tyres are not inflated to the right level, it is not only a waste of your money – tyres wear far faster when under-inflated – but it is extremely dangerous.
There is no universal tyre pressure requirement as each vehicle needs a different pressure in its tyres to perform at its best. To find out the correct tyre pressure for your car you should check in your owner’s manual.
When testing the pressure, it is strongly advised that the tyres “are cool”. This means that they should not have been used for roughly one hour. This is quite impractical for many people however, as not many have their own pressure gauge. Simplemotoring.co.uk has some advice to overcome this problem: “Use a supermarket garage after you have done your shopping - that way, you will only have driven a few hundred yards from where you were parked and your tyres will be cold.”
When using the pressure gauge – either your own, or in a garage – make sure that you fully read the instructions beforehand and test every tyre, adding or removing air as appropriate.
It is highly recommended that before setting off on a long journey you check the pressure of your tyres, especially if you are carrying more items in the vehicle than you would otherwise. The weight of that extra luggage could be enough to cause damage to the tyres if the pressure is not correct.
If you are ever in doubt contact an expert – such as a mechanic – and ask them for their advice. To use the age old adage, it’s better to be safe than sorry.