What happens to your car tires when summer finally comes to a close and temperature is dropping? In this guide, we will be talking about the relation between tire pressure and cold weather. All cars are made to be heavy-duty and last for several years. Though modern vehicles are made to withstand many things that could cause damage, your car’s parts may still be susceptible to a hundred other things. During the cold season, you may get low tire pressure signals from your car quite often. This is because tire pressure is affected by temperature and the elements. How did that happen? Keep reading to find out.
Your car’s four wheels are the ones that receive a lot of pressure while driving. Just by looking at your automobile, it is obvious how indispensable the tires are. Without them, your vehicle will just be an enormous and immovable boulder machine. Yes, the engine may be working fine along with other systems. However, they can never compensate for the work that the car tires do. How, then, do the tires accomplish their task? Tire pressure has a lot to do with how your tires perform. Proper tire inflation will ensure that you have a safe and comfortable experience driving your car. If your tire is properly inflated, you will have better control of your car and enjoy an increased fuel efficiency.
What is the normal tire pressure for a car?
The pressure rating of tires varies widely depending on the car itself. The unit of measurement for a tire’s air pressure is referred to as the PSI. PSI stands for “Pounds per Square Inch”. There is a correct PSI for every car tire that you need to maintain. Proper inflation of your car’s tires has a great impact on gas mileage and durability of the tires. You can find the specific tire pressure for your wheel’s rims on the door of your vehicle or inside the owner’s manual. On most vehicles, tires fall between 27 to 35 PSI.
Take note that you should not inflate your car’s tires according to the PSI indicated on the tires. The pounds per square inch found there is the limit of the tires. If you make the mistake of overinflating the tires, you are in for a bouncy ride that will not only damage the car tires but can possibly affect other car parts negatively. As the PSI is not the same for all vehicles, refer to your owner’s manual to get the right normal pressure for your car. There is also a relation between tire pressure and cold weather that will be addressed in the next section.
Do I need to put air in my tires when it’s cold?
Summer may bring out a lot of complications in your vehicle, but summer’s complementary season-winter equally taxes your vehicle with a number of problems. One of the issues that will first arise when the wintry weather draws in is your tires. This is because tire pressure and cold weather have an ongoing conflict with each other. The cold weather changes the PSI of your car’s tires. The change is more often a decrease in the PSI which will require you to put air in your tires more often in winters than in summers.
Air pressure is the key element of all car tires. To be precise in speaking, air pressure is the real strength behind the tires and is in reality, the one carrying the weight of the vehicle. During winter, tire pressure and cold weather associate with one another causing the PSI to fluctuate. Your vehicle tires may have 35 pounds per square inch before the winter begins. But at the end of the cold season, constant and extreme interactions between tire pressure and cold weather will affect the air pressure by a 5 PSI difference or addition to the starting PSI.
Now, you may be left thinking, “What should my tire’s pressure be when it’s cold?” When there is constant interaction between tire pressure and cold weather, a danger on the road is probable. You may lose control of your driving because of the tire pressure and cold weather continually affecting each other over long periods of time. Depending on the car you own, there is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System that will help you know whether your tires’ PSI is still on point. For a more accurate report on the PSI of your car tires, consider buying a tire pressure gauge. This gauge is available in any automotive retail store.
In winter, make sure to check your car tires’ air pressure regularly. If you detect a shift in the tires’ PSI, you can try driving to the nearest gas station. Most gas stations are equipped with air pumps you can use free of charge. Also, be careful not to overfill your tires. Exceeding the recommended PSI will strain your driving and you may also lose control. The recommended air pressure for your tires during winter is around 32 to 35 PSI. More information about the PSI on cold weather conditions will be discussed in another section.
Why do I need to get the right tire pressure?
You may have already read some of the reasons why getting the right tire pressure is essential from the earlier sections. Still, here is a comprehensive list of the advantages of getting the right tire pressure.
- Properly inflated tires equal better gas mileage
There is so much research that gives us the knowledge that there is a correlation between properly inflated tires and gas mileage. To be precise, loss of PSI means a decrease in the gas mileage.
- Safe and comfortable drive
Tire pressure has a lot to do with the comfort you will experience as you drive. If your car tires are not inflated properly, the air pressure will be unstable and will cause a bumpy ride. This will be dangerous if you are driving during winter. Tire pressure and cold weather are not a good combination so be sure to check your car tires’ air pressure before you drive out in the cold.
- Tires will last longer
With the right amount of air pressure, your car tires will have a longer life. Proper inflation of tires makes them work more efficiently as well, and you will have better control over your wheels.
These three are just a few of the most common benefits of getting the right pressure for your car tires. In addition, improper inflation of vehicle tires has a greater negative impact compared to the advantages of having the right amount of air pressure in your tires. Remember, any issue concerning the car tires is a problem that you cannot afford to ignore. Too many people assume that the tires are the ones carrying the weight of the vehicle. Unknown to them, the air pressure compressed inside the rubber tires is the one responsible for the heavy weight lifting. It is quite amazing that air is the strong element that carries your car wherever. Therefore, making sure that the tire pressure is on point even in the winter will give you not just comfort in driving but safety as you drive.
What should your tire pressure be when it’s cold?
The tire pressure and cold weather change the standard pressure for your tire. During normal conditions, your tire requires approximately 32 to 40 PSI or pounds per square inch. This changes into 32 to 35 PSI when the tire is cold. You must make sure that the pressure reading in the car is accurate. The best time to read the pressure of your tire is after having your vehicle parked overnight. Do not check while you are driving because the friction from your tires and the road will indicate inaccurate tire pressure.
Can you drive a car with low pressure?
It is not advisable to drive with low pressure for it can cause an unnecessary tear to your tires and not to mention your tire might blow up which may lead to accidents on the road. While it is possible to still drive your car that has underinflated tires, issues with tire pressure and cold weather is not something to be ignored. A decrease in tire pressure is recurring in cold climates. If this is the case, then it would be hard to avoid the problem if it happens while you are on the road. These are simple solutions to get you out when you get stuck with tire pressure and cold weather situation:
- Signal other drivers with emergency lights
Keep in mind that any danger to you will also harm other people by the time you hit the road. Because a low-pressure tire in itself is a hazard, you must relay this information to other drivers around you. Do so by turning on your emergency lights. This will notify other cars that you are having problems with your car and they must keep a safe distance.
- Remove as much weight as you can
The extra weight from all the stuff in your car contributes to the underinflation of your car. You must remove extra weight or limit the number of passengers with you. It will be smarter to address the problem with the tire pressure and cold weather as soon as possible.
- Go slow
Your handling will be bad enough if you drive with low pressure. Do not attempt to drive faster because that method would not work. The worst case scenario is for you to have a completely flat tire while you are in the middle of the street. Slow down while driving with insufficient tire pressure and cold weather or when pulling over.
Knowing these details proves to be extremely helpful when you are in a situation where your tire pressure and cold weather negatively affect your driving. Paying more attention to what your dashboard is telling you will save you the hassle of a low-pressure tire. The symbol in your dashboard will warn you if you are already running low on pressure inside your tires.
What are the signs that my tire has low pressure?
Among the signs of low tire pressure is the decline of fuel economy and noises whenever you are driving. Awareness of these warning signs can help you take action as soon as the problem starts. It is also of great importance for you to understand the hazard of the signs of low tire pressure and cold weather. This is a list to fortify your knowledge about the symptoms of low pressure.
- Fuel economy dropped below-average
The exact tire pressure that will keep your tire inflated must be taken into consideration to help you stay in the safety zone. You will be wasting fuel when you drive with a low-pressure tire. This is because the power needed to move your vehicle is from the conversion of the fuel. An underinflated tire will take more fuel than when it is in normal condition.
- Your car is making noises
The noises from your car can mean a lot of things. One interpretation of those noises unfortunately is an underinflated tire. Hearing whooping is the result of the tire’s friction with the road. The noises you hear will warn you of different car issues such as low tire pressure and cold weather that can cause further damage to your car.
- Change in your car’s movement
You may notice a shift in your car’s reaction time when it experiences problems with tire pressure. There may be delays in how the vehicle maneuvers. Once you observe this in your automobile, be sure to address the problem promptly.
How can I take care of my car tires?
Your car tires are crucial for your driving especially because they are the ones who carry the weight of the vehicle. You must keep the reliability of your tires through the following steps:
- Do regular tire check-ups
You might be dealing with tire pressure and cold weather on an occasional basis. However, checking the condition of your car must be done as regularly as your situation allows. It is suggested that you check your tire’s rotation, tire pressure, and its overall condition at least once every month.
- Rotate your tires
This is a simple way of maintaining the shape of your wheels. It would be wise to check your mileage and when you reach 6000 to 8000 miles, that is the time you start rotating the tires. Doing so will support your car from declining tire pressure and cold weather.
- Only Install the same tires on all four wheels
Some people justify using mismatched tires since they all serve a common purpose. Do not fall into this trap. Make sure that the tires of your car are uniform.
In summation, tire pressure and cold weather have a lot to do with one another. In the winter, driving can become dangerous especially if your car tires are not properly inflated. There are many problems that may arise not only with your car tires but also with other systems if you do not address air pressure issues. In contrast, you will enjoy the benefits of safety, comfort, and better gas mileage if you maintain your tire pressure within its recommended PSI. In this case with your vehicle tires, car maintenance does not only lengthen your car’s life, but it also ensures your safety and well-being as you drive.