When the temperature drops, you might be surprised to learn that your tire pressure numbers can (and will) do the same. In fact, cold weather can impact your air pressure so much that it may lead to tire damage or even a flat if it’s not adequately monitored and maintained. To help out, we’ve created this short guide regarding tire care for cold weather.
How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Tires?
For every ten-degree temperature change, your tires can lose (or even gain) one to two pounds per square inch (PSI) of air. This is because temperature fluctuations cause air molecules to contract or expand outwards.
What Kind of Risks Does Having Low Air In Your Tires Bring?
Driving on underinflated tires is never a good idea, as it can lead to several issues with not only your tires but your entire vehicle in the long run:
Poor Fuel Economy: with less air in your tires, your car will have to work harder to keep things moving, leading to increasingly poor fuel economy per drop in PSI.
Difficulty Stopping: underinflated tires are far less reliable and can result in extended stopping times, not to mention skidding or other maneuverability issues.
Increased Wear and Tear: the shape of your tire changes depending on whether or not it has the recommended level of PSI. Whether overinflated or under, they are at risk for uneven wear and tear, leading to a shorter lifespan.
Tire Damage: unsurprisingly, with a greater risk of wear and tear comes a greater risk of damage, which could lead to the need for repairs or even replacements.
These issues can be easily avoided by simply keeping an eye on your air pressure and knowing when to adjust the PSI accordingly. Checking the pressure regularly is a great way to extend the life of your tires and your car.
What is the Ideal Tire Pressure in Cold Weather?
Generally speaking, the ideal air pressure for a tire tends to be between 30 and 35 PSI, and this does not change in cold weather. However, specific values can vary by vehicle, so you’ll need to check your owner’s manual for its precise PSI levels.
Should I Overinflate My Tires in Cold Weather?
No, you should never overinflate your tires in cold weather. Instead, aim to keep your tire pressure within the range specified by the tire or your owner’s manual.
Some drivers might think they are outsmarting nature by overinflating their tires in response to the anticipated loss due to cold weather, but that is a poor decision. Overinflated tires do not provide any additional traction or handling benefits in icy or snowy conditions, and they actually put your tires at greater risk for wear and tear.
Visit Our Red Bank, NJ Shop For Tire Repair Services
Don’t let the cold weather get to you or your tires. Call Bradley’s Auto Service in Red Bank, New Jersey, today to schedule a tire check-up or service. Our ASE-certified mechanics have built a reputation for providing honest, professional auto services. To learn more, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Auto Repair Services.