(Beware NSFW Accident Scenes Depicted Below)
This information will save you money, time, and maybe a life. Yes, you can do all that with this little trick. A simple task that takes less than 10 minutes can not only save you some bucks but it can also save your life or the lives of the family in the vehicle next to you. How would you feel if you had a tire blow out that caused an accident involving others that could have been prevented if only you had done this simple task in under 10 minutes?
I know it is boring to talk about tires, but every responsible driver needs to remember this just because it is such a simple task that can be so important. Please keep reading even if you know all about tires. I have worked with automobiles in one way or another for over 25 years and I remembered some things I forgot about and I even learned some new things while researching this article. I added some pictures from our private stock of some examples of what can happen when a tire blows out.
The drastic changes in weather temperatures have an effect on your vehicles tire pressure. It’s a science thing when the temps fluctuate from freezing back to our glorious Florida weather, it affects the pressure in your tires enough to affect fuel consumption and overall safety when driving and braking. And it’s easy to miss. It’s not usually something you will notice, it’s a subtle change. But it can have a drastic effect on your bank account and your life.
You may already know all this, but this is so important. Since there is not always a visual warning of low tire pressure, it can be an easy thing to overlook. You don’t want this task to slip through the cracks. Be a responsible driver, make the effort to #AirUpTheTires & remember to #AirTheSpare too. It’s a small thing that can turn into a big thing real quick. The repercussions can range from an inconvenient flat tire to a full-blown accident from a blown tire. Trust us, we have seen it all including rollovers and loss of life. All just because of low pressure in the tires. It doesn’t even take a long trip for this to become an issue.
Dont take my word for it. Check out this discussion that will show you the importance and the benefits of good tires that are well maintained.
First, Be Prepared
A flat tire is bad enough, but then after you do all the work of changing that flat, you realize that the spare tire is flat. If you had only remembered to #AirTheSpare. It only takes a few minutes that could save you from spending 6 hours waiting on roadside assistance and save your wallet from an expensive service call for a mobile air compressor. We found that 90% of spare tires are flat. This is a fast and easy life hack that will save you time, money, and maybe a life.
Gas mileage is reduced by .2% for every 1 PSI (pound per square inch) your tire pressure drops below the recommended level. By keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, you could save yourself up to 3% in gas mileage, depending on your vehicle and driving habits.
Buy your own tire pressure gauge. The most important piece of equipment you need is an accurate tire pressure gauge. Its cheap, you can find them at almost every store by the checkout. They make cute ones in every color imaginable. They make small ones for your keychain so there is no excuse. It is easy to learn how to use one and how to read it. You can find battery-operated digital gauges or the more traditional stick-type gauge found at most gas stations. If I can do it, you can too. Just be sure you check the pressure when your tires are cold or haven’t been driven in several hours. This will give you the most accurate reading.
Girls, did you know that guys think it is so sexy that you know how to check the pressure in your own tires? You don’t even have to know how to fill the tires…
An Easy Fix
Did you know that most tire places will fill your tire pressure for free! At many places, you never have to get out of the car, either. Just pull up to an open tire shop bay and ask nicely. Most are happy to help since they want you to come back when you need new tires.
Installation of new tires usually includes regular tire pressure checks anyway. Your tire shop expects to see you for regular tire maintenance. They know that it is good customer service to help you prolong the life of your tires. Regular tire pressure checks are part of getting the most from your vehicle maintenance investment. Make the most of free tire maintenance services included with your new tire purchase.
Many gas stations have vacuum/air stations that are convenient for regular tire pressure maintenance. Oftentimes they charge a few quarters these days. I am showing my age when I reminisce about the days of free air. You know, back when there was free water. These stations can be convenient since you are there getting gas anyways. There is no excuse for not taking advantage of such a simple action that will not only save you money but will make your driving safer. Now you are rocking it like a boss like a responsible driver.
How To Check Your Tire Pressure
Back in the day, our cars did not tell us that our tire pressure was low. Nowadays our cars are smart enough to warn us when the tire pressure gets low…if we know how to read the signs. I had to look it up the first time my car flashed this symbol at me. Wow, what a great innovation.
Make sure you have your manufacturer’s PSI handy when you’re checking your tire pressure Open your car’s glove compartment, pull out your owner’s manual, and look up “tires.” You should find details including front and rear “PSI” listings. PSI stands for pounds per square inch. This number is determined by your vehicle’s manufacturer, and it’s how you can tell if your tires are properly inflated. PSI is based on your vehicle’s: 1. Total weight and size. 2. Towing weight capability. 3. Recommended tire size.
It’s important to note that you should always use the pressure recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer to ensure optimal vehicle performance. This means you need to ensure that your tires are appropriate for your vehicle and that the PSI recommended for the tire matches what your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends for your car.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you have specialty rims and/or low profile tires the car manufacturer’s manual info will be void. For every action, there is a reaction. If the vehicle came with steel stock rims, aluminum rims will wear differently. Larger rims, specialty low profile tires, all these upgrades will have different effects. Consult an experienced tire shop for details on how to care for your specialty rims & tires. The tire pressure of the special sizes will vary greatly. The PSI alone of a regular size tire will blow out some low profile tires. So pay attention to what your specific tire needs.
And then follow these steps: 1. Remove the end caps on your tires’ air valves (don’t lose them!). 2. Place the tire pressure gauge into the valve stem and press down quickly to get a reading. 3. Check the PSI reading. Compare that to your vehicle’s recommended PSI. It can often be tricky to get the gauge to press fully onto the valve, resulting in an off reading—so take a few readings to eliminate any anomalies. a. If the reading is above the recommendation, push in the valve to let out some air (you might have to do this a few times to get it right). b. If the PSI reading is below the recommendation, fill your tire with air until you reach the ideal level (this may also take a few tries).
4. Checking the air pressure on your tires should take just a few minutes and is well worth the savings, protection, and peace of mind you’ll gain!
Signs You Need New Tires
By checking tire pressure once a month, you’ll get a good idea of how they are performing. If your tires are fairly new and continue to leak air, you should consult your dealer or mechanic. You may have a faulty valve or other damage that is difficult to detect… which could, unfortunately, result in the need to replace the tires completely. But with proactive maintenance, you could catch an issue before it becomes a problem, and just end up needing a small repair.