Before you set out to travel this holiday season…
Not only should you take your car to your local auto shop for a tune-up or oil change to make sure everything is running at top performance, but you should also check tire pressure to ensure that tires are properly inflated.
Tire pressure might not seem like a big deal to you, in fact, maybe it’s something you never really think about. However, it has a significant effect on the safety of your vehicle and how well it performs. Pressure correct tires help to distribute the weight of your vehicle evenly across the pattern of the tire’s tread. When pressure is ideal, this is when tires and the vehicle are at their most stable.
On the other hand, under-inflated and over-inflated tires cause loss of stability, which can negatively impact handling, cornering and stopping. This will also cause eventual uneven wear on the tires, which means their lifespan is shortened, which means more money out of your pocket because you’ll have to replace tires sooner rather than later.
When should you check tire pressure? Your vehicle may tell you when it’s time when your TPMS warning light comes on. This is the light on your dashboard that looks like an exclamation point between two parentheses. However, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking pressures every month, or even every couple of weeks in colder climates. Tire pressure (per square inch) decrease between one and two pounds for every 10 degree decrease in temperature. In essence, don’t wait for the warning light, keep ahead of the game.
How can you check it? Invest in a tire pressure gauge. These handy gadgets can easily be found online or in your local automotive store. They’ll provide you with a fast reading of your tire’s pressure, letting you know whether you’re pressure is perfect or if you need to inflate or deflate. There are different types of tire pressure gauge products. You can find ones that strictly read pressure or ones that are a tire gauge multi tool and are equipped with other features (ex. seatbelt cutter, flashlight, car glass breaker, etc.), which may be useful for emergency situations.
Regardless of what tire pressure gauge device you choose, make sure you keep it in your car so you have it for your holiday drive and always.