Understanding the Importance of Correct Tire Pressure
By Ben N. & Zeenat L.
My Insurance Broker
Aug 22nd, 2016 at 02:37 pm • Richmond Hill, ON
The importance of maintaining the recommended optimal tire pressure should not be underestimated. Incorrect tire pressure impacts fuel efficiency, road safety, the environment (fuel efficiency affects Co2 emissions), the longevity of your tires, and of course the proper handling of your vehicle.
According to a recent study, about 70% of the vehicles on the road in Canada have at least one tire that is either over or underinflated by more than 10%. In fact, 23% of all vehicles surveyed had at least one tire underinflated by 20%. This represents a real safety issue.
– Transport Canada
Under inflation increases rolling resistance, which reduces tread life and increases fuel consumption. It can also lead to sudden tire failure. Without enough air, the sides of a tire bend and flex too much. This builds up heat, which can cause serious damage. Operating a vehicle with just one tire underinflated by 56 kPa (8 psi) can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 km and can increase the vehicle's fuel consumption by 4%.
– Transport Canada
Tips for Optimal Tire Pressure
- Check tire pressure once a month or every other time you fill gas.
- Information regarding the pressure levels can be found on a plaque on driver’s door, under the fuel flap, glove box door and in your vehicle handbook.
- Check the overall health of the tire; tread depth, lumps, cuts or bulges.
- Do not spare the spare tire; check the pressure regularly so you’re not in for a surprise.
- Altitude and temperatures affects tire pressure. Industry experts say that for every 5°C drop in temperature, the tire loses 1 psi. Make sure you have the appropriate tires for colder temperatures, higher terrains, and harsher environments.