When Temperatures Drop, So Could Your Tire Pressure

At USA Collision Centers, we're in the business of taking great care of our clients and their vehicles. While you can always count on us to get your vehicle back on the road if you're ever involved in an accident, we're also passionate about spreading information to help keep Cincinnati drivers safe on the road.

The specific safety topic we want to focus on today is tire pressure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicles driving on tires underinflated by more than 25% are three times more likely to be involved in a crash related to tire problems than vehicles with proper inflation. And tires underinflated up to 25% run the risk of overheating, which can lead to tire failure, adversely affected handling or diminished tread life.

Since tire pressure can directly impact your safety while you're on the road, keep reading to learn what you can do about this issue:

 

Understanding the Impact of Weather on Tire Pressure

Fluctuations between cold and hot can cause significant changes to tire pressure. In Cincinnati, we're currently getting much more of the former weather than the latter. Because temperatures can drop so low during the night and actually stay low throughout many days, the air inside tires can contract. This can swing tire pressure by a significant amount.

 

How to Keep Your Tires at the Optimal Pressure

It's obviously important to keep your tires inflated to the right pressure. But how exactly do you go about checking to see the current state of your tires? Depending on the age of your vehicle, it may have the ability to automatically gather this information for you. Just keep in mind those systems aren't always perfect, which is why it can still be worth manually checking with a gauge on your own.

 

In terms of when to check your tires, start by looking at the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. You can get this information from your owner's manual or the tires themselves. Once you know the pressure to aim for, keep in mind that those amounts are based on cold inflation pressure. So you'll want to check your tire pressure first thing in the morning before you go for a drive. You can also check later in the day to see what kind of fluctuations your tires experience.

In general, a good estimate to use when comparing tire pressure to air temperature is for every 10 degrees F, tire pressure will adjust by 1 PSI. For example, if the outside air temperature increases 10 degrees, tire pressure will increase by 1 PSI. Conversely, if the air temperature falls 10 degrees, tire pressure will decrease by 1 PSI.

Based on the information you gather, you'll be able to tell if you need to add any air to your tires. And because these amounts can change quite frequently, it's worth taking a few minutes to check your tire pressure every couple of weeks.