How Low Tire Pressure Affects Your Driving
Tire pressure is a factor that is sometimes not taken seriously. Ignoring your tire pressure can cause handling, fuel economy, tire wear, and safety issues. Additionally, poorly-inflated tires can risk your rims and tires' health.
At Guta, we are all about tire pressure safety. We did our due diligence and will go through the details on how to avoid low pressure and improve your tire lifespan.
How Low Can Your Tire Pressure Be?
Your tire requires monitoring and care, like any other part of your car. Everyone knows that good tires will make your driving experience safe and pleasurable. Contrary to bad tires, they can lead to unsafe driving.
The ideal tire pressure for most vehicles is between 32 and 35 PSI (Pound per Square Inch). The lowest you can go is 20PSI, but you are taking a huge risk. If your tire is lower than 20PSI, it is considered a flat tire.
Nowadays, the government has established that TPMS sensors are mandatory. As a rule of thumb, your tires should be between 32-35 PSI, and you can set your TPMS sensor as low as 28PSI. As a result, your TPMS will alert you for any air pressure dropping before or while driving.
Factors That Impact Your Tire Pressure
At this point, you already have the basic knowledge about tire pressure. But which factors affect the air pressure in your tire? Let's go through the more relevant and frequent ones.
Weather always plays a trick part in your tires, even your TPMS included. When ambient temperature changes, it causes the pressure inside the tire increases or decreases. In other words, the air will expand if your tires are exposed to heat. If your tire is exposed to cold temperatures, the air will contract.
Tires could potentially lose around 1PSI for every decrease of 10° F. This is why your TPMS sensor can alert you. Checking your tires before driving off during a cold winter or hot summer day would avoid confusion and low tire pressure.
If it is winter or you live in an area where the nighttime temperature drops dramatically, it is normal for your sensor to alert you. Any advice would be to drive for at least 5 miles, this will warm up your tires, and the alert should turn off.
Bent Wheels or Rims
If you have been driving with low pressure, you will have problems with your wheel structure or a bent rim.
If you have a wheel with a bent rim, it can let the air out of your tires. Additionally, they cause severe damage to your tires and create larger problems if you do not attend to them accordingly.
Nail In Your Tire
A common issue when driving is that a nail gets kicked up and punctures your tire. Nails will gradually let out the air. Causing your low tire pressure to come out. If you have set up your TPMS accordingly, it will alert you once the pressure drops under safe pressure.
If this issue occurs, you may need an expert to repair the damage. During this service, the professional will remove the nail in your tire and patch the hole. Make sure to notify about the TPMS sensor.
If you forget, here is an article on how to set up your TPMS sensor.
Tires have a lifecycle. If you have old tires, you will notice they retain less air than they used to. Ensuring your tires have not been extensively used or even left forgotten in the open will increase lifespan.
However, after a couple of months, it is advised to purchase new tires and let your mechanic indicate when it is time to switch to new ones.
What Happens If You Drive Your Car With Low Pressure?
Air pressure is key to safe, functional tires. Knowing the required tire pressure will affect your car and driving safely. Some other outcomes you will brace yourself will be:
Bad Fuel Economy
If your tires are low pressure, your car requires much more power to move. Meaning that you will incur fuel loss. Experts say that every 5PSI of underinflation equals 2% of fuel loss.
While driving with low pressure, maneuvering your car will become dangerous. This is so because the tire will not move as fast as it should. They are more unstable and lose grip and traction.
How To Avoid Low Tire Pressure?
Tire pressure has a significant impact on your vehicle's performance. If it goes too low, your safety is at risk. So avoid as much as you can low tire pressure by following these simple steps and advice.
Inspect Your Tire Pressure
Every month your car is checked. Your tire pressure should be one item to be ticked off during the survey. Even a weekly inspection will avoid last-minute drives to the mechanic.
You should check not only your running tires but also your spare ones.
Understand Tire Pressure Recommendations.
Understanding the ideal tire pressure is vital in case of an emergency. You can find the pressure recommendations on your vehicle's driver's side door or the owner's manual.
You can also find this information on the side of your tires. However, these indicate the maximum amount of PSI your tires can hold.
Understanding Your TPMS Sensor
The TPMS sensor main goal is to alert the driver of low tire pressure. A light will turn on in your dashboard, or if you purchase a TPMS sensor, you will see an alert on the screen.
Understanding the importance of proper inflation and how TPMS can help you avoid a dangerous situation is vital.
If your TPMS sensor alerts you about low tire pressure, we recommend checking the tire with a gauge and adding air until it reaches the manual's specification. You can set up your sensor to the air pressure you consider low for your vehicle but still safe to drive around.
Guta TPMS sensors are ideal for large vehicles like RVs or trucks. The display can clearly show you which tire is dropping pressure.
You can read more about which type of TPMS you need in this article.
Confirming Your Tire Pressure Is Fine.
As already discussed in this article, driving on a tire with low pressure is not advised. Keeping your eye on your tires can have a long-lasting impact on your vehicle's lifespan and driving safety.
How To Check Tire Pressure?
There are different ways to check your tire. Visual checks should be done every day. If you check your tires visually, you will notice if there is anything unusual on them.
The ideal would be checking with a gauge you should always have in your car. These tools will give you a precise and direct read of each tire's PSI.
Verifying TPMS Sensor Reading
Your TPMS sensor can, on some occasions, alert about a low-pressure tire, and when you check them, they are fine.
We recommend checking and, if needed, setting up again your TPMS sensor if it has shown any mistakes with your tire pressure.
The same factors that affect tire pressure could also affect your sensors. Check regularly, and if in doubt, reach out to a specialist.
Tire pressure is an important matter in regard to safety. As a driver keeping the correct tire pressure is always a good idea. Consistently monitor your tire pressure and regularly fill your tires with air to keep them within the ideal range, which is between 32 to 25 PSI.
If you are considering adding a TPMS sensor to your tires, head now to our website or read our article about our different TPMS sensors. If in doubt, you can always reach our friendly team.