Elite Garages Answers FAQs On Car Tyre Pressure
Vehicle safety should be everyone’s primary concern and it goes beyond buying good quality tyres, MOTs and regular servicing. One of the most important aspects involves regularly checking tyre pressure and tread depth. Considering your tyres are the only parts connecting your car to the road, failing to check your tyre pressure is particularly dangerous.
Whether you’re a student, business owner, pensioner or a stay-at-home parent, tyre checks are non-negotiable. And with winter just around the corner, you should pay even closer attention before it’s too late. Tyre pressure is one of the THREE main elements Tyre Safe recommend you check. To help you be better prepared, here are some FAQs and answers.
What Should My Tyre Pressure Be?
Not all cars and tyres have the same requirements so it’s important to know what your car needs. Most passenger cars will have 32 PSI to 35 PSI when the tyres are cold but you should find the recommended pressure for yours. Most cars will have a sticker that tells you the correct PSI. This is usually on the inside of your door but if you don’t have one, refer to the owner’s handbook. If you still can’t find it, try out online tools such as tyrepressures.com
Is 36 PSI too much?
Higher tyre pressure is generally not dangerous provided you are well below the “maximum inflation pressure”. You should be able to find that number on each sidewall, and it’s much higher than your recommended tyre pressure.
How Is Tyre Pressure Measured?
There are two systems to measure tyre pressure and they are bar (metric) and pounds per square inch or PSI (imperial). You will typically find these together in user handbooks or stickers. For reference purposes, if you need to convert, 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI.
Can I Adjust Air Pressure At Service Stations?
You can check and adjust your tyre pressure at most service stations but some might charge for it. The machines often have a gauge built into the handle and some have both psi and bar so you need to work out which one you’re looking at beforehand.
How Do I Check My Tyre Pressure?
Aside from checking air pressure using machines at services stations, you can also buy a pressure gauge and tyre pump. This way you can ensure that your tyres always have the right pressure no matter where you are. It’s also good to keep it in the car in case of a slow puncture or if you need to adjust tyre pressure on the road.
Always check the pressure when the tyres are cold so that means before driving anywhere that day. Remember, as tyres travel along the road it generates friction which increases the temperature and pressure. As a result, warm or hot tyres may give inaccurate readings.
What Is A Slow Puncture?
A slow puncture is a small hole in your tyre that causes air to escape gradually. They are common and often very hard to detect and you may only notice a change in tyre pressure a few days or weeks later. With a normal tyre puncture, you will notice the tyre deflating much faster and you may even hear a soft hissing sound as the air escapes from the tyre.
Recommended: Can A Flat Tyre Be Repaired More Than Once?
Can I Drive On A Flat Tyre?
Tyres are susceptible to damage caused by objects on roads such as screws and nails. However, even blunt items like rocks, potholes, and metallic objects can cause a tyre split or puncture. Whatever the cause, you should never drive on a flat tyre unless you have run-flats but even then it’s limited to a few miles and at slow speeds. Driving on a flat tyre is not only extremely dangerous but you can also cause serious damage to the wheel and even suspension.
When Should I Check My Tyre Pressure?
You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month to avoid driving on inadequately inflated tyres. If you travel often and cover long distances, you may want to check it more often.
What Happens To Underinflated Tyres?
Driving with low tyre pressure will increase fuel consumption and raise the risk of a tyre blowout. Tyres that are below the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure will overheat and can even break down chemically when driven at high speeds. This can easily result in a serious accident so we strongly discourage driving with low air pressure.
What Happens To Overinflated Tyres?
When you over-inflate your tyres, the sidewalls and tread become harder than normal. This reduces the traction and overall performance of the tyre as well as premature and uneven tyre wear. Over-inflated tyres will cause the vehicle to have a harder, more unstable ride compared to properly inflated car tyres.
Both cause irregular and premature tyre wear which can greatly reduce traction as your tyres can’t find grip when they need it most. By checking your pressure regularly and using the recommended PSI, you can make sure your tyres stay in good shape for longer. Here’s a short video showing the impact of poorly inflated tyres on stopping distances.
Checking air pressure is inexpensive and very easy to do either at a service station or using your pressure gauge and pump. Make sure you check all your tyres at least once a month and don’t forget the spare.
You can find the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle in the owner’s manual, on the inside of the driver’s door or inside the petrol cap in some cases. If you don’t know how to check your tyre pressure, or suspect a slow puncture, visit any of our service centres for a FREE tyre safety check.
If you need a tyre change, vehicle service, MOT or wheel alignment, Elite Garages can help get you back on the road. Our country-wide locations offer top quality workmanship and a wide range of services. If you have any questions or would like more information, contact us today.