While many people believe that putting more air in tires than necessary can improve fuel efficiency and save money, this is not true. Overinflation can actually cost you more money, as it damages the rubber and increases your risk of a blowout while driving. Below is more information about how to monitor and spot overinflation, as well as how to reduce pressure safely.
Why Is Overinflation Dangerous?
When you put too much air in your tires, they are harder and more rigid, which means they are more susceptible to damage from potholes and debris. This means that a rock or sharp object is more likely to puncture the rubber, causing a blowout while you are driving. This increases your risk of an accident and requires you to purchase a new tire.
Overfilled tires also have less traction because the center bulges outward. This means it is the only part that touches the road, which makes driving in wet or snowy conditions hazardous. This also causes uneven tread wear, reducing the life span of your wheels.
What Are Some Signs of Overinflation?
If you don't have a pressure gauge handy, pay attention to how the car handles. For example, if driving seems to be rougher than normal, this occurs because the rigidity prevents tires from flexing with the road. You may also have less traction during normal weather conditions because the wheels aren't gripping the pavement fully. Finally, inspect the tread. If the center wears down faster than the sides, excess pressure is causing this area to bulge.
How Can You Reduce Pressure?
If you suspect overinflation, check the owners manual or driver's side door jamb for the manufacturer's pressure recommendation. Then, use a pressure gauge to check each tire when they are cold, which is either in the morning or after the car has been sitting for a few hours. Locate the valve stem, twist off the cap, then measure the pressure. If the number is higher than the recommended amount, use the back end of the gauge to push the valve's metal pin down. Release air in bursts and check the pressure regularly until it reaches the proper level.
If you need help maintaining your tires or purchasing new ones, contact Rocky Ford Discount Tire in Otero County, CO. These trained technicians work on many vehicles, from compact cars to diesel trucks and lawnmowers. They sell, install, and service top tire brands and can balance and rotate your existing tires. Call (719) 254-3391 to schedule an appointment, and visit the website to learn more about their services.