Vehicle systems these days can get complex very quickly. There are dozens of belts, hoses, fuses, gears and chips and connectors….and even the smallest hiccups can be responsible for bigger problems. One of the biggest issues with vehicles today, though, is easily manageable, even though it is almost imperceptible – but it has a huge effect on your performance.
After all, how often do you check your Tire Pressure?
The pressure in your tires, when set to factory specifications, is calculated to enhance and ensure the best gas mileage, wearability, traction, and stopping power in your vehicle. When the tires are over- or under-inflated, it can have cumulative effects on your Engine, safety, and much more.
For example, an under-inflated tire will flatten out where it contacts the road; this causes a loss of steering control, as well as bending on the sidewalls, a build-up of internal heat, and increased rolling resistance – all of which can add up to a 5% loss in Fuel Economy. If it is more than 6 psi below the recommended pressure, your treads will lose up to a quarter of their durability and there is even a chance of tire failure. However, an over-inflated tire isn’t much better. They will take more damage from debris and potholes, and ride harsher over irregular terrain. With all of the rapid temperature fluctuations we are so accustomed to here in Calgary... you had better be sure you are on top of having your tires properly inflated!
So how can you make sure your tires are properly filled?
The first step is to get a quality air pressure gauge, as it is nearly impossible to judge a tire’s pressure just by looking at it. Look at the sidewall of the tire to find out what the recommended pressure is, and compare that to the reading on the gauge. If necessary, use an air compressor with a suitable tip to fill your tires, periodically checking the pressure as you go. If you overshoot the target, don’t worry – just push the centre pin of the tire’s valve in order to let some air out. Repeat for all four tires, and just like that, you’ll have increased your Fuel Efficiency and safety on the road!
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