The importance of correct tyre pressures

Despite this many people unfortunately don’t pay as much attention to tyre maintenance as they really should, and one critical aspect of this worth exploring is maintaining the correct tyre pressures.

Recent motoring surveys have previously revealed how many UK motorists neglect to check the state and pressure level of the tyres on their car. Keeping your vehicle’s tyres at their optimum pressure level will not only make your driving experience better and safer, but can also save you a substantial amount of money in running costs.

That’s why we are going to take a closer look into the importance of tyre pressures and how to maintain them correctly.

If you ever need help with any maintenance or repair work require for your vehicle, then you can easily book for a Perrys Service online or contact you’re nearest Perrys Dealership.

Explaining tyre pressure

The tyre is pumped with air, so that it attains a particular shape and level for rigidity, enabling it to make an optimal amount of contact with the road. The exact pressure level which is ideal for each tyre varies depending on several factors including its size, the nature of its use and the vehicle the tyres are to be fitted on.

The same tyre may have a different optimal inflation when fitted on different vehicles. Your vehicle handbook specifies the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle’s front and rear tyres.

Alternatively, the information may also be available on your fuel tank cap and the inside of your right hand door.

The importance of getting the right tyre pressure around each wheel on the road can’t be emphasised enough.

This is because when a tyre is overinflated or underinflated, major issues will very likely be created with the quality of the car’s handling ability, ride and therefore safety is compromised.

What if the tyres are underinflated?

When the tyres on a car are underinflated, this means a larger patch of each tyre is in contact with the road at all times.

Consequently the internal components which make up the tyres will become overheated and turn soft whilst the car is being driven. This issue of overheating will eventually lead to a blow out of at least one of the tyres, creating danger on the road.

Even if drivers on underinflated tyres aren’t struck by a tyre blowout, their wallets will be hit first. Underinflated tyres increase the rolling resistance of a car on the move, which means a car’s engine will have to work harder to get up to speed and use up more fuel as a result.

Fuel consumption for a car is significantly reduced when the tyres are at a pressure level below the optimum amount.

Furthermore it is estimated from reports that a 20 per cent reduction in tyre pressure can reduce the life span of a tyre by around 30 per cent. This means that drivers using a car with underinflated tyres will ideally need to get their set of tyres changed more often, spending more money in maintenance during their time of owning a vehicle.

What if the tyres are overinflated?

The issue of overinflated tyres is less common amongst UK motorists than underinflated tyres. But this is a serious issue nevertheless.

A tyre which has its pressure level above what is recommended will have a smaller patch of contact with the road. In reality such a tyre will reduce the level of grip on a vehicle, particularly in wet conditions, and also hamper performance under braking and through corners.

Overinflated tyres will also create a less comfortable ride for vehicle passengers. Even worse, the patch of the tyre which is still making contact with the road will be put under more strain compared to if the tyre was in a standard pressurised state.

A part of the overinflated tyres will therefore overheat and become damage in a similar way which can occur with underinflated tyres.

Checking and maintaining tyre pressures

All the potential perils for your car mentioned above can be easily avoided if you just check and maintain tyre on your vehicle.

The good news is that you don’t need to be any sort of motoring expert to keep your vehicle’s tyres at the optimum pressure amount. What you need are the right tools, which should prove easy to use themselves.

A pressure gauge allows a motorist to establish the current air pressure level in a vehicle tyre. To use this device you place the round end of the gauge on the tyre’s valve stem. Make sure to push it down well to create a good seal so that the reading is accurate. The gauge will tell you the pressure, usually in psi (pounds per square inch).

The current pressure reading can then be cross referenced with the recommended levels (in psi) offered in the vehicle’s handbook or alternative guidelines.

If more air needs to be added to a tyre you can do this by using an air compressor, these should be available at all fuel stations.

If the tyre is overinflated whilst using an air compressor, then you can simply let excess air out by pressing the valve stem with the opposite end of the gauge. Remember to recheck the tyres and replace the tyre valve caps and then you should be all set.

Bear in mind however that if you use an air compressor on a tyre and it appears to be deflating quickly, even with the valve caps shut, then this likely means the tyre in question has a puncture. In this case the tyre should be fixer or replaced as quickly as possible so contact your nearest service garage if necessary.