It can be easy to overlook the amount of air in your tires.
There are no warning lights and the difference between a properly inflated tire and one that needs more air can be subtle. You may figure that you’ll get your tires checked the next time you get your oil changed. If you get your oil changed regularly, that is probably fine. Still, you don’t want to not ever think about your tires. After all, if your tires aren’t inflated properly, you could have some problems.
The operative word here is “could.” You may not have any issues whatsoever. But when your tires’ pressure gets low, more of the surface of the tires touches the road, the flatter your tire becomes. As you can imagine, the flatter the tire, the more friction is being developed where the rubber meets the road. That can make the tire overheat, and that’s when anything can start happening. Maybe your tire just gets worn down faster. Maybe the tread gets more ragged. And maybe you have a blowout.
And nobody wants that.
That’s why we’d like to suggest a few rules of the road, before you tire of discussing tires.
Monitor your tires occasionally. Even if they look fine, keep tabs on how much you’re driving and how long it’s been since you’ve had your tire pressure checked. If you’re about to go on a long road trip, this would be a good time to get an oil change at your local Milex Complete Auto Care and get the air in your tires filled. Or if your car has been recently looked at, to at least go to the gas station and check the air tire pressure yourself or buy a tire gauge.
How frequently can tire pressure change? Unfortunately, very frequently. Your car generally will lose about a pound of pressure every 30 days. If there is a major difference in temperature, it can have an adverse effect on your tires. Your tires can lose one to two pounds of pressure when the temperature drops 10 degrees. If you go from a warm day in the 60s one day, to a cold morning in the 40s, your tires are likely a bit less inflated than they were.
Now the good news is that as your drive, your tires get warm, and the pressure in your tires naturally rises, too. That’s why we aren’t filling the air in our tires every few days or so. Properly inflated tires are better for gas mileage. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save you 9 cents per gallon, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Not having proper inflation can decrease the life of a tire. The NHTSA also says that proper tire inflation can extend a tire’s life by 4,700 miles. That could be another six months or year of driving, or a few weeks, depending how long your commute may be.
Monitoring the amount of air in our tires can be easy to overlook and may not seem like a major responsibility. The more vigilant we are in doing so, however, the more money you will save over the long haul and safer your car will be.