As we enter the transitional season of fall and the drastic fluctuation of temperatures, even going from morning to afternoon, there are certain maintenance tasks that need to be done on your vehicle. Just like the asphalt on the road contracts and expands depending on the temperature, the rubber of your tires will do the same. Naturally, your tires can lose as much as 1 or 2 PSI a month if they are not replenished, so it’s important to monitor them this season.
In general, a tire’s recommended PSI will be around 30-35 PSI, and that can differ greatly when temperature changes happen. Air contracts when it gets cold, and a 10-degree F temperature change could cause a 1–2-point PSI drop. If you haven’t checked on your tire pressure in a while, especially since the summer, this could greatly affect the pressure of your tires. Underinflated tires can then subtly cause your MPG to drop so you don’t get as many miles out of a tank of gas. A study by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Admission) even found that losing just 1% of your tire’s PSI can cause a .03% reduction in fuel economy.
Additionally, underinflated tires also mean more wear and tear on them overall. With more of the tread touching the road as you drive, more of the tire will face damage. Plus, if your tires all have different PSI levels, the tread will wear unevenly between the four, and could cause one wheel’s tread to wear down drastically different than the others.
The next time you get gas, use the tire pressure station to check the PSI of your tires. The ideal range will be located in the lower inside part of the driver’s side door, so use that as a reference. If you’ve noticed the tread on your tires is not adequate for icy and snowy roads, bring your car by Superior Service Center for an inspection. We’ll check the tire tread and let you know what’s not ideal to drive on, and what tires we would recommend for a replacement.