The importance of keeping tires properly inflated

Autos & TrucksMaintenance

  • Author Barry Pendley
  • Published August 29, 2007
  • Word count 503

When it comes to proper maneuvering, handling and braking practices for your car or any other motor vehicle, your tires play a role which is absolutely critical as they are the only part of your vehicle which maintains contact with the road. Practicing basic safety practices regarding your tires, which involves keeping your tires properly inflated at all times, can add a greater degree of security to your driving experience, expend the life of your tires by reducing tread wear, and can actually save on fuel as well.

Enhance the degree of security that your tires afford you --

When a tire is under-inflated, it can quickly become a serious concern for safety because excessive flexing is forced onto the sidewalls of the tires, which can build up more heat internally and can result in premature failure of the tire, in addition to other safety hazards. Tires which are inflated improperly tend to wear out much more quickly than properly inflated tires, because more rolling resistance or drag is put on the road.

Extend the life of your tires by reducing wear on the treads --

One of the primary causes associated with early breakdown of your tires, or poor tread life in general is under-inflation of the tires. When the air pressure in your tires is low, excessive heat can build up in the tires which can shorten the life of your tires and can create driving conditions which are dangerous at best. The wear on your tire treads will be rapidly increased by unwanted heat, and tire casings and retreads can easily be torn down. Nearly ninety percent of all breakdowns involving tires are a direct result of under inflation of the tires.

It is imperative that you maintain the proper pressure levels for your tires in order to improve the mileage that your treads can withstand. If your tires are under-inflated by around 20-percent for a fairly consistent basis, you can reduce your tire's life by up to 30-percent. The tread wear for your tires will increase as much as 25-percent for a 20-percent under inflation of your tires.

Save money on fuel by expending less --

The additional level of drag on the road also leads to a significant reduction in the fuel economy for your vehicle, which is something that most vehicle owners and drivers should want to avoid. For every ten pounds per square inch that a tire is under-inflated, the amount of fuel that your vehicle consumes is increased by 0.5-percent. If several of your tires are chronically under-inflated, you can lose as much as a 3.3-percent difference in your vehicle's fuel efficiency.

With inaccurate tire pressure impacting so many important aspects related to driving your vehicle, there really is no good reason not to check the tire pressure in all four wheels on at least a weekly basis. Tires that have the right pressure on a consistent basis contribute to better fuel economy, longer life span for the tires, and a much safer driving experience.

Barry Pendley is the webmaster of a website that offers a tire pressure monitor.

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