Tire inflation tips for safety and tire longevity

Tire inflation tips for safety and tire longevity

Sometimes, car users are unsure of the tire pressure to use in their tires especially when they have replaced the stock tire with a different tire size.

Tires need inflation pressure that is adequate for the type and size of the tire in use. Often, it is the best to follow the car manufacturer's tire pressure specification which is mostly found on a sticker in the car or in the owner's manual.

Below are few tips on tire inflation that ensures safety:

Do not over inflate your tires, it causes tire deformation which may lead to tire burst, poor handling, bumpy ride, decreased braking performance and anti-lock braking system malfunction.

Do not under inflate your tires. Under inflation causes overheating due to sidewall over flexing, high rolling resistance leading to increased fuel consumption, and this can lead to tire burst.

Cold inflation pressure is always lower when the tire is cold than when it heated up after few moments of driving. Always check your inflation pressure when the tire is cold. The pressure can rise by up to 4 psi when the tire becomes hot. There is about 1 psi increase in pressure for a 10 degree rise in temperature.

Tires require less frequent refill when nitrogen gas is used in place of air. Tires have microscopic pores through which air molecules can escape over time. With nitrogen which have bigger molecules than oxygen, tire pressures remains relatively stable over time.

Always use the manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure. Also ensure that you use only tires recommended by the manufacturer or tires with similar specifications with manufacturer's recommended tires. About 3 psi above manufacturer's recommendation is okay for bad roads.

Never exceed maximum tire inflation pressure marked on the tire's sidewall.

It is advisable to use a tire with same or similar specifications with the stock tire but if there is any reason why another specification should be used, one should be mindful of the inflation pressure for the new tire. For instance, LT (light truck) rated tires have higher inflation pressures compared to P (passenger) rated tires of similar sizes.