Everyone knows tires are an essential component of vehicles. They are the only things that come in contact with the road; hence, the working of the vehicle and the safety of the people inside rests on the tires. Monitor your tire pressure to make sure your tires are always in good condition.
The Problem of Under-Inflation
About 90% of breakdowns are caused by under-inflation. Under inflated tires are a common cause of poor tread life and early tire breakdown. Low tire pressure allows excessive heat to build up. This heat can tear down retreads, increase tread wear, and even destroy tire casings, which makes driving risky and shortens tire life.
When tires are under inflated, excessive flexing is caused on the sidewalls. This causes additional strain, which builds up more internal heat. The U.S. National Traffic and Safety Administration found that about 1 in 3 cars or light trucks were being driven with at least one under inflated tire, thus causing hazardous conditions.
Drawbacks of Under- Inflation
- Impact on Mileage – Tread wear decreases by 5% for a continuous 10% of over-inflation. If your tire is constantly under- inflated by 20%, you will witness a tire life reduction of 30% and, for every 10 PSI under inflation, your fuel consumption will increase by 0.5%. So, you can imagine the amount you would be spending to make up for the damage caused by under-inflated tires. However, with proper pressure levels for your tires, mileage is bound to improve.
- Reduces Fuel Efficiency – Due to rolling resistance, under-inflated tires consume greater amounts of fuel. A study by the American Department of Transportation showed that by keeping tires in good condition, the U.S. could save more than 4.2 gallons of fuel per day. Imagine that!
- Incurs Heavy Maintenance Costs – You should regularly check tire pressure because about 36% of your vehicle’s maintenance cost rests on its tires. Everyone tries to side-step this time consuming procedure, but this can be dangerous. Sometimes, assuming that if some tires are good, all are, the under inflated tires end up being skipped. It really makes no sense to ignore the direct cost consequence of poorly maintained tires.
Tire Pressure Tips to Remember
- To ensure the greatest tire life, keep tires properly inflated. Tires of small vehicles should be checked a minimum of once a month, while larger vehicles should be checked more often. Don’t guess or thump; measure with a quality tire gauge.
- Vehicles with dual tires have a hidden tire, which is difficult to reach and easier to neglect. If the inside tire is flat, it can rupture or over heat. Hence, checking its pressure is necessary.
- For multi-tire motor vehicles, use a wireless sensor to monitor each individual tire. Externally mounted tire sensors are easier to install and remove.
- Check tire pressure when tires are cold and, preferably, change them every 3-5 years.
- Change all tires (or at least two) at the same time.
Monitoring your tire pressure and temperature in this manner will help increase tire life and fuel efficiency, which will ultimately lead to your safety.
Author: Ron Burg writes for actiongatortire.com
By Guest Author: Lauren Byrd
Practicing proper driver safety is a very important part of driving. As a driver, you should be aware of proper car maintenance, safety tips, and also how to react in certain situations. A situation you will definitely experience is driving through bad weather conditions. Many rain showers and thunderstorms pop up in the summer, so understanding how to stay safe during these conditions can help prevent possible accidents.
According to AAA, wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. Here are some tips to follow this summer when you are caught driving in the rain.
- Make Sure Headlights are Functioning Properly
You definitely don’t want to be caught out in a storm without proper working headlights. Checking to make sure your headlights are working before you begin driving should be one of the first things you do upon entering your vehicle. Headlights help you to see the road, and they also help other drivers see you.
- Check Tire Inflation and Tread Depth
Not having enough tread depth in your tires causes a higher risk for hydroplaning. You need enough tread depth to allow the rain to escape through the tire’s grooves. In order to check your tire’s tread depth, you can use the coin test explained below.
Take a penny, and with Lincoln’s head upside down, put it between the tread of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn down and it is time for new tires. Mavis Tire has a wonderful “Buy 3 Tires Get 1 Free” deal if you find yourself in need of tires.
Along with ensuring that your tires have the proper tread depth, you should also make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure. Tires that are under-inflated can cause hydroplaning and can even cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Replace Old Windshield Wipers
As soon as you notice a difference in your driving visibility or that your windshield wiper blades are squeaking, you need to purchase new blades. Advance Auto Parts offers free wiper installation with your windshield wiper blade purchase.
- Slow Down
One of the most important tips to remember when driving through the rain is to slow down and reduce your speed. It is not safe to drive through the rain at the same speed you would drive at in sunny weather. Slowing down can improve your safety as well as the safety of other drivers around you.
By Guest Author: Lauren Byrd
Lauren is a contributing writer and media specialist for Mavis Discount Tire. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and automotive blogs based around driver safety tips, auto service tips, and more.