Sunday, September 27, 2009
As the weather begins to change, from hot, humid temperatures to cooler, fall temperatures, it would be a good idea to get in the habit of checking the air pressure of your vehicle's tires regularly. Weather changes can have an effect on the air pressure within the tires, leading to improper grip on the road, abnormal wear of the tire tread and a decrease in fuel economy. Cooler weather causes air to contract, which decreases the tire pressure. This is why tires go low, even if the tire isn't leaking from a puncture or faulty air valve stem. It's best to check the tire pressure before that first drive of the day, since driving causes the air in the tires to warm up. Keep an air gauge in the car, either in the glove compartment or the center console. Now, imagine if you've been running on an under-inflated tire... Under-inflation causes drag, since the weight of the car rides on less air and increases the footprint of the tire as it pancakes. This increasing pressure on the tire, requires more power to overcome, thereby decreasing fuel economy, and introducing more strain on the drive train of the vehicle. The tire with low air pressure will have more contact with the road, leading it to wear down faster than the others. And, if the tire is extremely low, it could damage or even break the rim if a curb, railroad track or pothole were driven over. Be safe, not only for yourself and the passengers in your car, but for other drivers as well. Don't let something this easy cause you pain and misery in your wallet later. Check the air pressure in your tires, today.