- The Importance of Correct Tyre Pressures
Regularly checking your tyre pressures helps extend the life of your tyres, improves your vehicle’s safety and helps maintain fuel efficiency.
Effect on tyre life
Tyre life can be reduced by as much as 75% if your tyres are running at just 80% of the recommended pressure. If pressure falls to 60% (which we find is not uncommon), tyre life can be reduced by as much as 35%. Early signs of potential under-inflation are a rapid wearing on the outside edges of your tyres. If left unattended, this can quickly cause your tyres to become illegal.
Effect on vehicle safety
When tyres are under-inflated, there is not enough air in the tyre to support the vehicle’s weight. This leads to the tyre’s sidewalls being compressed by the weight of the vehicle causing them to flex beyond their normal limits. This abnormal flexing leads to heat building up in the tyre and dramatically increases the chances of a high speed blow out.
Effect on fuel efficiency
Under-inflation increases the amount of the tyre’s tread that is in contact with the road surface. Increased friction means that the tyre’s ability to roll along the surface of the road is reduced (you might hear us refer to this as an increase in ‘rolling resistance’). This means your vehicle needs to use more power to roll an underinflated tyre along the ground, leading to an inevitable increase in fuel consumption.
Tyre Pressure Top Tips
- Check your pressures once a month
- Always check pressures when the tyres are cold (ideally when they have travelled less than 2 kilometres)
- Check your drivers handbook, driver’s door sill or inside glovebox for manufactures recommended tyre pressure
- Increase pressures in accordance with drivers handbook when the car is fully laden i.e. when going on holiday)
- Always use a reliable pressure gauge
- Don’t forget to check ALL your tyres including the spare!
- Whilst checking your pressures, also look out for signs of tread wear, cuts or other damage
- If in doubt, ask an expert.