Proper tire pressure: How? than? and why measure it?
As a rule, happy owners of new tires wonder what rules must be followed in order to operate the tires for the longest possible time.
Maintaining the tire pressure recommended by the car manufacturer significantly affects the driving safety, comfort, handling, stability of the car and the efficiency of its operation. What causes the wrong tire pressure?
"Deviation of air pressure in the tires from the norm leads to a decrease in the contact spot
tires with the road and is dangerous! "
Excessive tire pressure leads to the following consequences:
- Increased wear on the central part of the tread and suspension of the car,
- The deterioration of the damping ability of the tire and the discomfort when driving: passengers feel a stiff ride and "bouncing",
- Dangers of damage to the tire when hitting an obstacle (for example, a stone on the road) or falling into a hole,
- Reduced control stability due to reduced contact patch.
Insufficient pressure is even more detrimental to tires, it leads to:
- Strong deformation of the tire, which can cause its destruction during movement,
- An increase in temperature in the tires, and, as a result, delamination and destruction of the tire carcass - "explosion" of the tire,
- Increased wear of the shoulder areas of the tread,
- Increased risk of aquaplaning,
- Possibilities for dismantling tires in turns
- Increased fuel consumption.
"The reduced tire pressure is reflected in the driver’s pocket: a drop in air pressure of 20% from the norm reduces the life of the tire by 25-30% and increases fuel consumption by about 3%."
• How to find out the right tire pressure for your car?
On the central rack in the doorway of the driver’s door, glove box or on the fuel filler flap, there is a plate that contains the following useful information: tire sizes recommended by the car manufacturer and optimal pressure in “cold” tires depending on the partial and full load of the car.
How to measure tire pressure?
Check the tire pressure every day before driving. If it does not work out every day - at least once a week. But before traveling long distances, a pressure check and visual inspection of tires and wheels must be done!
It is necessary to measure pressure in "cold" tires. In a "hot" tire, depending on the distance, load, speed, air temperature, pressure can increase up to 10%. Therefore, never let the air out of the "hot" tires immediately after the car stops, otherwise the air pressure in the cold tires will be too low.
If the “hot” tire shows a pressure lower than recommended, pump it up to the recommended pressure plus 10%, and after the tire cools down, check the pressure again and adjust it to normal.
A tire fits the definition of “cold” if the car has stood in place for at least three hours, or has driven no more than 1.6 kilometers after long-term parking.
Unequal tire pressure can cause an unpredictable reaction of the car to the influence of the steering, and different tire pressure on different axles of the car can lead to an unexpected pull of the car left or right.
The pressure in the spare wheel must also be checked in case of unexpected wheel changes.
• When is a tire pressure correction required?
For prolonged travel at speeds of more than 160 km / h, car manufacturers advise increasing tire pressure by 0.2 - 0.4 atm. from the recommended one, which slightly improves the controllability of the vehicle, although it inevitably negatively affects the comfort of movement. It is advisable to do this or not - the driver decides in each specific situation, depending on the load of the car and the condition of the roadway. You need to understand that the requirements of car manufacturers (we mean that while we move exclusively on foreign cars) for tire pressure are designed to operate the car on roads with some average performance for the country of manufacture. Our roads are objectively worse so far. And whether it is worth moving through them at such high speeds, everyone decides for himself.
Before a long trip on a primer, dirt or road such as “washboard”, you can, on the contrary, reduce pressure in the summer by 5-10%, and in winter by 10-15% of the recommended.
• Pressure in low profile tires.
If non-standard low-profile tires are installed on the car, they should be monitored especially carefully. Low profile tires have two features: a small sidewall height and a large rim diameter. If the tire has the correct air pressure, only the tread is in contact with the road. Low pressure causes distortion of the sidewall of the tire, as a result of which it begins to touch the roadway, gradually wearing out. At a certain point, the tire is completely abraded and destroyed. If this happens at high speed, the consequences can be fatal.
“For low-profile tires, you must use the pressure indicated for maximum vehicle load and focus on the maximum allowable air pressure in the tire, which is indicated on the side of the tire with MAX PRESSURE in kilopascals and pounds per square inch. For example, MAX PRESSURE 3.0 kps (44 psi). "
• How to measure tire pressure?
The best thing is when your car is equipped with a standard TPMS system that monitors tire pressure and air temperature. The driver can only respond in a timely manner to the "alarm" and take care of the immediate check of the problem wheel.
If the car is not equipped with this system, you can purchase it and additionally equip your car.
Simpler means for measuring pressure are tire pressure gauges. The compact digital pressure gauge is especially convenient.
The content of the article
Car manufacturers set the tire pressure rating for each model, which ensures the most comfortable ride while maintaining optimal stability and handling characteristics on the road. Corresponding tire pressure to the required range of values not only improves driving safety, but also reduces fuel consumption by car.
Pressure measuring instruments
Mechanical and electronic pressure gauges are used to measure tire pressure. There are two types of mechanical pressure gauges: dial gauges and coil spring. Both types provide a sufficient level of accuracy with a high degree of reliability.
Electronic pressure gauges are characterized by a high level of accuracy and ease of use, but have a higher cost. Some cars are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, which signals the need for pumping wheels.
Tire Pressure Measurement Technique
Locate the nipple on the outer rim of the rim. Unscrew the protective cap. Connect the pressure gauge to the nipple, ensuring the tightness of the connection. Compare pressure gauge readings with pressure rating.
If the reading does not match, inflate the tire or bleed air. After adjustment, re-check. Close the nipple with a safety cap.
Pressure Check Frequency
To control tire pressure, the car owner is advised to periodically check it. Each driver chooses the frequency of inspection independently, but most manufacturers recommend that this procedure be performed at least once a week. A pressure check is also required before each long trip.
The tire pressure values indicated by the manufacturer must be measured in their cold state, as air expands when heated, which affects the accuracy of the pressure gauge. Car service experts recommend that measurements be taken no earlier than after three hours of parking after a trip.