Tyre Pressure A number worth keeping an eye on
There are important reasons why you need to check your tyre pressure
When tyres aren’t inflated properly, they don’t work properly. Handling is compromised and your vehicle’s performance will be reduced. At its worst, an incorrectly inflated tyre can contribute to an accident, which happens all too frequently.
The only safeguard against this is to check your tyre pressure regularly. A monthly tyre pressure check will only take a few minutes to complete and will benefit every single minute you spend behind the wheel.
Greg Murphy talks tyre pressure
Checking tyre pressure: 5 quick tips to remember
- You’ll get a more accurate reading if you check the pressure when the tyres are cold.
- Refer to your vehicle handbook for the recommended pressure for the front and rear tyres.
- Use a reliable tyre pressure gauge either at home or at a petrol station.
- Take reading of the PSI (pounds per square inch) on each tyre and compare it to the vehicle handbook.
- Adjust the pressure higher or lower according to the recommended range, taking into account the load of your vehicle.
Tyre Pressure: Why does it Matter?
The fastest way to good tyre performance
Tyres effectively hold air which holds the vehicle they are fitted to. Too much tyre pressure and you'll have an uncomfortable ride and reduced control of the vehicle; too little and you'll have sloppy handling and potentially inability to hold the vehicle's weight without damaging the tyre. Both too much and too little inflation pressure can mean unsafe driving and uneven tyre wear.
Correctly inflated tyres grip and handle more effectively
Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s handling capability. Cornering becomes more difficult and the ability to perform evasive manoeuvres is drastically compromised. With too much rubber in contact with the road, heat can build up in the tyres and in extreme cases could lead to a blowout.
Over inflated tyres reduce the tyre contact patch with the road. There is less traction and the tyres won't provide the necessary grip for safe cornering. Braking distances will be extended and on wet roads, over-inflated tyres mean an increased likelihood of aquaplaning.
With even tyre wear and better fuel economy
When tyres are under-inflated they’ll wear out faster. The number one danger to all tyres is heat and an underinflated tyre builds heat to excessive levels - which will mean faster tyre wear. With an overinflated tyre, a reduced contact strip with the road surface will lead to premature and irregular wearing.
In both cases, the tyres will need replacing more frequently. Fuel savings may also be significant. An underinflated tyre increases road resistance which will need more fuel to overcome it.
Enjoy Increased Comfort
With tyres that absorb the shocks
Correctly inflated tyres improve the ride quality. The tyres are able to better absorb shocks and are more responsive. It makes driving more enjoyable and ride more comfortable.
Correctly inflated tyres also mean better steering and handling response. Too low and it will be harder to get them around those corners precisely.
Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Smarter tyre setup for maximum efficiency
An underinflated tyre will need more power to overcome its additional rolling resistance. A tyre under inflated by just 0.3 bar can increase fuel consumption by 1.5%. More fuel means more C02 released into the atmosphere and a larger carbon footprint.
Setting your tyre inflation pressure correctly will ensure you enjoy maximum benefit from the energy-saving technology that is built into our tyre designs.
How to check your tyre pressure in 5 minutes
Checking your tyre pressure can take as little as 5 minutes every month. Doing so will keep you safe and prolong the life of your tyres. Here’s how you do it:
Check them 'Cold'
Take readings before any extended running
Tyres should be 'cold' when you check the pressure - that means when they haven't been running for any extended period. Tyres heat up as they are run and as they heat up, the pressure inside them increases. Your vehicle's recommended tyre pressures are based on setting them when tyres are cold, so checking your tyre pressures when the tyres are warm may mean that you set them too low.
If you're checking your tyres in very cold weather, keep in mind that tyre pressure drops between 1 and 2 PSI with every temperature drop of 10 degrees, and will increase as the temperature becomes warmer.
Consult the Handbook
For the vehicle maker's recommendations
Your vehicle's handbook will contain information about the recommended pressure for the front and rear tyres. This will be the minimum amount of air pressure needed in cold tyres to support your vehicle. You should also see details of the recommended tyre pressure for when the vehicle is fully loaded.
If you can’t find the handbook then tyre pressure recommendations can also usually be found either inside the fuel filler cap or on the drivers door post.
Use a reliable Tyre Pressure Gauge
For fast and accurate inflation readings
Reliable tyre inflation gauges are relatively inexpensive and widely available from auto stores in both digital and traditional stick format.
If you don’t have one, most petrol stations have free tyre pressure gauges available along with air pumps to make any required adjustments.
Check the tyre pressure
And compare to the manufacturer's recommendation
Remove the cap from the tyre’s air valve. Next, place the gauge onto the valve stem, pressing down quickly and firmly until the hissing sound stops. The gauge should now show a pressure reading of the tyres PSI. Compare this with the manufacturer's recommendation.
Tyres can lose inflation pressure at different rates, so make sure to check all four tyres.
Adjust the pressure
Getting it right and ready for the road ahead
If you have too much pressure in the tyre, push in the valve to let some air out. Take it in small increments until the pressure is decreased to the desired PSI. If the PSI reading is too low, use an air compressor to fill the tyre to the correct pressure. It’s usually best to use ‘squirts’ of air until you get to the recommended PSI, so you don't risk over-inflating the tyre. Now repeat the process with the other 3 tyres.
For the best tyre performance and longevity, we recommend checking tyre inflation pressures every month.