If you've noticed low tire pressure in the winter, you're certainly not alone. A flat tire at any time of year can be a headache, but in winter, colder temperatures and inclement weather can make driving on a flat even more of a safety hazard. The cold often plays a direct role in low wintertime tire pressure. Below, learn more about this role, as well as some ways you can keep your wheels in good shape.
Cold Temperatures & Pressure
As temperatures drop and external air cools, the interior air inside car tires contracts, causing the interior pressure to drop as well. In general, air pressure falls about 1 to 2 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature. When they get cold, air molecules don't move as fast as they do in warmer conditions, and this also means they take up less space in—and exert less pressure on—the tire.
Because most pressure monitoring systems in vehicles alert you to even the tiniest changes in pressure, many drivers will see their indicator light illuminate as their tires adjust to the cold.
To prevent wintertime tire problems, check the pressure at least once a month. Only check the pressure when the wheels are cold, not after driving, or even just warming up the vehicle, as warm tires will give an inaccurate pressure reading.
Different kinds of vehicles have different pressure recommendations, so check your owner's manual for manufacturer guidelines. In general, most manufacturers recommend pressure between 30 and 35 psi. You can top off the tires with air at a service station until the needed pressure is achieved.
Taking your car to an auto professional will ensure accurate pressure levels and make certain no other issues are present. 21 Ave Tire Repair provides tire repair and maintenance services to residents in the Paterson, NJ, area. They also carry a full inventory of new tires from some of the most trusted brands on the market today. Call (973) 225-0923 to schedule a repair or visit them online to learn more about their services.