Because the condition of your tires affects the way your vehicle handles, its fuel efficiency and load carrying capability, maintaining proper tire inflation is essential. The correct air pressure is important because both over-inflation and under-inflation can cause premature tread wear and possible tire failure. If you keep your tires properly inflated, you will reap the following benefits:
- Reduced tread movement which helps extend the life of your tires,
- The reduced rolling resistance which increases fuel efficiency,
- Increased water dispersion to help prevent the possibility of hydroplaning.
Consider the five common warning signs of low tire pressure described below:
- TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) -- The purpose of the TPMS is to alert you when tire pressure is too low, resulting in unsafe driving conditions, undue tire wear, and possible tire failure. Manually check the pressure of all of the tires with a gauge and try to determine the cause of pressure loss. Add some air, but if the light stays on, schedule a tire service as soon as possible.
- Lower Fuel Economy - The EPA-estimated fuel economy rating for your vehicle was determined with properly inflated tires in mind. Underinflated tires will take more engine power (and more fuel) to get the same mileage. If you notice that you have to refuel more often than normal or a little sooner than usual, check tire pressure.
- Flapping Sound - If you hear a flapping sound or a “whomp-whomp' noise as you're going down the road, it could the sound of a tire with low pressure on the pavement. This is the first sign of a pending flat tire. Pull over immediately and check the tire pressure. You may need to change your spare tire.
- Maneuverability - If you notice your vehicle is swaying into turns, taking longer than usual to turn corners, or the steering and maneuverability is off, it could be low tire pressure. It would be wise to take your car to an auto shop to have it checked out.
- Stopping Distance - Underinflated tires are unable to grip the pavement as well so it may take a long distance for your vehicle to come to a complete stop.
Tips to Remember: Check tire pressure at least once a month, before a long trip, or when carrying a heavy loads.
Looking for quality tire service? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Kestner Automotive today for more information about a transmission rebuild and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area.