Are you wondering why you experience low tire pressure in winter? To get an answer, let’s recall a basic science concept that tells us that when air is heated, it expands. Conversely, when air is cooled it contracts.
In winter, the temperature drops down, which reduces the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires. But why do we need to maintain an appropriate tire pressure? There are a few reasons. It’s critical to vehicle safety and its fuel efficiency as well.
Having a low air pressure in tires can lead to tire burst or tire failure because underinflated tires encounter more resistance than appropriately inflated tires.
It’s a good routine to get into to check your tire pressure in the cold weather frequently, particularly when winter arrives. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, air pressure drops to up to 2 pounds/square inch. Considering such a drop in the air pressure, you must check the air pressure in all four tires and the spare tire as well.
The ideal practice is to check the tire pressure in the cold weather when the tires are cold because as you drive the car and friction warm up the tires, air pressure expands in them. Therefore, checking the air pressure before driving the vehicle is a better approach.
If you drive a feature-rich vehicle that gives a warning when tires are underinflated, then you’ll get a warning light in the display of the meter. Some advanced vehicles also provide real-time air pressure alerts.
Tire inflation affects the fuel economy of your vehicle in both ways. Underinflated tires lead to poor fuel efficiency, while properly inflated tires provide better fuel efficiency. When you drive a vehicle running on properly inflated tires, you experience better handling, traction, and road grip. It makes your journey smooth, comfortable, and safe. So always check the tire pressure in the cold weather each morning.
What Should Tire Pressure Be in Cold Weather?
If you’re wondering what should be the right air pressure in the tires when winter arrives? It’s generally printed on the tire. Another way to find the recommended air pressure is to look on a sticker inside the driver’s door. If you can’t find a sticker, read the user manual to find the recommended air pressure.
Typically, passenger cars have 32 psi to 35 psi in the tires when they’re cold. You should check the air pressure when the tires are cold because friction between tires and the road generates heat, resulting in elevated temperatures and air pressure. To find the best reading, make sure that the vehicle has been parked since the night or at least three hours after the last ride.
It doesn’t matter what’s the season; you might encounter under inflation in the tires. However, it happens in the winter more than the summer season, so always check the cold weather’s tire pressure each morning.
Before going on a long ride, it is wise to always check your tire pressure before leaving.
If you are experiencing low tire pressure regularly despite topping up on air, you may want to seek out a service center to check that you don’t have a slow leak in the tire. Like any regular car maintenance, keeping up on your tire pressure can help avoid extra repairs to your vehicle.