How much air should you put in your tires

Recommended Tire Pressure for your tires

The recommended tire pressure is the pressure established by the manufacturer of your car as the optimal air pressure for your tires. Running your tires at the correct pressure is important because it keeps you safe, cuts down your gas bill, and makes your tires last longer. Each vehicle has its own specifications for tire pressure, but most fall between 28 and 36 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Maximum pressure

Be careful not to confuse the recommended pressure with the maximum pressure. The recommended pressure is the one you should use when filling your tires, and, as explained above, you can find on your doorjamb or in your owner’s manual. The maximum pressure, on the other hand, is usually stated on the sidewall of the tire itself in small print near the tire’s bead (where the rubber abuts the rim). This measurement is provided by the tire manufacturer rather than the car manufacturer and is the maximum amount of pressure the tire can safely withstand.

What happens if you inflate your tires to the max PSI?

Your tires’ max PSI almost always exceeds the recommended pressure. It isn’t advisable to fill your tire to this pressure for everyday driving. At max PSI, your car does not handle as well, braking is impaired, and you could risk dangerous blowouts. Over-inflation can also cause the center of your tire’s tread to wear out prematurely and reduce the lifespan of your tires. You may want to use the max pressure on a temporary basis if you are hauling especially heavy load or towing something.

Minimum pressure

Most manufacturers do not state a minimum tire pressure, per se. The recommended value is the amount of air that a tire needs for a car to handle properly and safely, and anything under that value is not recommended, so functionally the optimal value is also the minimum. Under U.S. law, vehicles are required to be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that warn the driver when tire pressure falls below 25 percent of the recommended PSI. This is considered severe under-inflation, but less drastic pressure drops are still considered moderate or mild under-inflation, and they and can still have negative consequences.

What happens if you inflate your tires to the minimum PSI?

If your tires are inflated to a pressure that is below the recommended PSI (as shown in the manual or on the driver’s side doorjamb), your car will not operate safely. Under-inflation can cause the tire to heat up excessively, which can make the tread pull away from the body of the tire. If this happens on the highway, it could lead to a blowout and a serious accident. There are also financial reasons for making sure your tires aren’t under-inflated. A low tire has more rolling resistance, which means the car has to work harder to move down the highway and consumes more fuel. Well-inflated tires are going to save you money at the pumps. Low tires also wear more quickly and unevenly, so you will have to replace them more often.

TPMS and tire pressure

A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) uses either a direct sensor inside your valve stem or a combination of both software and other existing sensors in your vehicle to let you know when your tire pressure is outside of a safe range of pressures. If the pressure falls below the legally specified limit (25% of recommended pressure) an indicator light shaped like the letter U with an exclamation point inside it (representing the cross-section of a tire) will light up on the dashboard. When you see this TPMS light on you should immediately check your tire pressure and make any necessary adjustments.

Nearest dealer

If you have further questions about tire pressure or any other aspects of your tires, find your nearest tire dealer to get some advice.

Recommended Tire Pressure - What Should My Tire Pressure be?

Maintaining correct tire inflation pressure is very important since it helps optimize tire performance and fuel economy while over-inflated tires are just as problematic as under-inflated ones.

In fact, driving with under-inflated tires is one of the biggest causes of tire failure, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Besides, under-inflated tires can cause many other problems such as wearing out more rapidly, handling poorly and reducing fuel efficiency.

In addition, over-inflated tires are more susceptible to damage from road irregularities, and this also creates a bumpier ride.

Overfilling your tires is just as dangerous as under-filling them, so it’s important you know what is recommended for your vehicle.

This article will give you everything that you need know about your recommended tire pressure. These include:

  • where to find recommended tire pressure
  • reasons that maximum tire pressure is not the best one
  • how to check your tire pressure
  • signs that your tires might be under-inflated

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Recommended tire pressure, where to find it?

Since tire pressure is so important to your safety and your car’s overall performance, it is important to know which level of tire pressure is right for your vehicle.

In fact, how much air pressure your tires need depends on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the type of tire and the intended use of the vehicle etc.

Air pressure in tires is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. You can find your tire pressure both inside your car and on the sidewall of the tire.

How to find recommended tire pressure inside your car

You could find the manufacturer’s optimum or recommended tire pressure for your car on a sticker in the door jam, or in your owner’s manual. Some car models even place the stickers on the trunk lid, in the console or on the fuel door. For best results, look for a placard on the inside of the driver’s door, like the example in the photo below.

How to find maximum tire pressure on the sidewall of your tires

Somewhere on the sidewall of your tire, just below the big, bold letters of the manufacturer, for example, you might have noticed the words ‘Max. Press. 35 PSI.’ (pounds per square inch).

That number tells you the maximum cold pressure needed for your tire to carry its maximum load.

Most typical tires require about 32 to 35 pounds per square inch (PSI) of air, says Rod Tate, owner of highly rated Colony One Auto Center in Stafford, Texas.

Large trucks require much larger tires with PSIs of 50 to 60. Heavy-duty vehicles can go even higher. For example, tire in the picture below requires 41 pounds per square inch of air.

However, the tire’s maximum pressure is NOT necessarily the most suitable pressure for every vehicle upon which the tire can be used (almost all vehicle manufacturers’ recommended tire inflation pressures are less than the tires’ maximum pressure).

You really should follow the recommended pressure printed somewhere inside your car or in the manual rather than the maximum pressure. In the next section, I will explain why.

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Why is maximum tire pressure not the best?

If you insist on inflating your tires to the max PSI, there will be more likely that two things below will happen

  • The handling characteristics change

Since tires inflated to the max cannot give as much on the sidewall, you might see superior cornering, but it could be at the risk of your braking threshold. One quick corner and your back end could slide out.

  •  The life of your tire decreases

When your tires are inflated too much, the rubber rounds out at the top of the tire when you are driving, and the center will quickly wear out. You will also reduce your traction and you could even cause a blowout.

Therefore, maximum pressure is not the best, rather, recommended pressure is. I need to repeat here that the pressure listed on the sidewall is a maximum pressure only, but not a recommended pressure. Instead, you should use the air pressure recommended in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or tire information placard label.

How to check your tires pressure?

Therefore, maximum pressure is not the best, rather, recommended pressure is. I need to repeat here that the pressure listed on the sidewall is a maximum pressure only, but not a recommended pressure. Instead, you should use the air pressure recommended in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or tire information placard label.

After knowing the most appropriate pressure for your car tires, you should check whether your tires have such pressure. In addition, checking the pressure of your tires regularly is one of the most important – and most often overlooked – regular maintenance that you should do to ensure your safety and quality of your driving. Monitoring the amount of air in your tires will let you know if you have a small leak and can help you avoid an unexpected flat tire.

Frequently checking your PSI becomes even more important in the fall and winter, when outside temperatures drop and weather conditions fluctuate causing your tires to lose air more quickly. Generally speaking, your tire will gain or lose one PSI for every 10-degree change in temperature, which means if you have a sudden drop of 30 degrees, you could lose three PSI overnight. If your tires were already low, this could cause tire damage, steering problems or even a flat tire.

Some experts recommend that you should check the air pressure every time you refuel; others say once a month is sufficient.

How to check tire pressure properly? Checking tire pressure is easy. You can do it right at home or at the gas station. Just be sure you check the pressure when your tires are cold, or have not been driven in several hours. This will give you the most accurate reading.

The most important piece of equipment you need is an accurate tire pressure gauge. You can find battery-operated digital gauges, or more traditional stick-type gauge found at most gas stations. A good gauge should not set you back more than $15 – a worthwhile investment for a longer life for your tires.

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Make sure you have your manufacturer’s PSI handy when you are checking your tire pressure, and then follow these steps:

  • Remove the end caps on your tires’ air valves (do not lose them!).
  • Place the tire pressure gauge into the valve stem and press down quickly to get a reading.
  • Check the PSI reading. Compare that to your vehicle’s recommended PSI. (It can often be tricky to get the gauge to press fully onto the valve, resulting in an off reading – so take a few readings to eliminate any anomalies.)
  • If the reading is above the recommendation, push in the valve to let out some air (you might have to do this a few times to get it right).
  • If the PSI reading is below the recommendation, fill your tire with air until you reach the ideal level (this may also take a few tries).

By checking tire pressure once a month, you will get a good idea how they are performing. If your tires are fairly new and continue to leak air, you should consult your dealer or mechanic. You may have a faulty valve or other damage that is difficult to detect which could unfortunately result in the need to replace the tires completely. But with proactive maintenance, you could catch an issue before it becomes a problem, and just end up needing a small repair.

Signs that your tires might be underinflated

Often, it is hard to spot an under-inflated tire until it is too late – in other words, it is completely flat. Of course, you could carry a gauge around at all times to measure the pressure, but that is not exactly convenient. Instead, watch for these signs and symptoms of tires that are under-inflated.

  • Your car is not handling as well as it usually does

When your tires are under-inflated, your ride can be less smooth than usual. You may even find that it takes longer to brake.

  • There are cracks in the tire

When a tire is not inflated properly, it wears down more quickly. If you notice that one or all of your tires are wearing out faster than usual, it may be because they are under-inflated.

  • Your steering wheel is shaking or vibrating

Tires that are under-inflated can make your vehicle quiver and shake, which is not a pleasant driving experience. Under-inflation can even cause tires to become misaligned, with comes with it is own variety of problems.


These are all things that you need to know about recommended pressures of your car tires. After reading this article, you will never confuse about the right pressure of your tires and will know how to check it.

Please share your ideas with me if you have other tips for this.

Alvin Reyes

Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for

how it should be, table :: Autonews

Photo: Shutterstock

See also

Tires are the only vehicle element that is in constant contact with the road. One of the main indicators of their serviceability is pressure. It affects not only fuel efficiency, but also safety.

As a rule, car manufacturers recommend maintaining tire pressures between 2. 0 and 2.8 bar. But in practice there are situations when it is necessary to deviate from this norm.

Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month, there are several ways to do this. We understand why it is so important to observe the optimal pressure indicator and what it affects.

In this story:

  1. The dangers of incorrect tire pressure
  2. Signs of incorrect pressure
  3. What should be
  4. When to correct
  5. How to check
  6. How often to check
  7. Table for popular car brands in Russia

Why incorrect tire pressure is dangerous

Tire pressure is the resistance with which air "presses" on the inner area of ​​the rubber. Properly inflated tires will last longer, give you better ride quality and improve your driving safety. If the pressure in the tires is too low or they are pumped over, then the car owner runs the risk of facing a number of problems: from buying new tires to the threat of an accident.

Properly inflated tires will last longer (Photo: Global Look Press)

Tire pressure too low

Under-inflated tires are tires that are below the recommended pressure. In this case, the contact patch of rubber with the road increases, which leads to increased friction or rolling resistance. A worn out outer edge of the tread can visually give out such a problem.

Increased friction with the road can cause the tire to overheat, slip and even burst. In addition, low tire pressure leads to:

  • excessive wear;
  • to poor handling and less accurate vehicle reactions to driver actions;
  • to lower fuel economy due to increased drag;
  • to an increased risk of hydroplaning.

Tire pressure too high

When tires are over-inflated, that is, above the manufacturer's recommended rate, the contact patch decreases. As a result, the main friction with the road is taken over by the central part of the tire.

Excessive tire pressure leads to excessive sensitivity to road irregularities and the risk of tire damage, even destruction. Overinflated tires also cause the following:

  • the car becomes difficult to handle at high speeds and corners;
  • suspension is stronger and harder to work out the load from bumps and bumps;
  • due to less grip, the braking distance increases (this is especially dangerous in rain or ice):
  • increases the chance of puncture or other damage.

Signs of incorrect tire pressure

Tatyana Eliseeva, an auto expert, master of sports of international class in motorsport, comments

For flat tires:

  • whistle in tight turns and at low speeds;
  • if one wheel is flat, the car starts to drive (pull in one direction) along the road;
  • in fast corners, a flat tire “breaks down” - a sound may appear or be disassembled.

For overinflated tires:

  • the car gets more nervous in a straight line;
  • shakes her on bumps;
  • the side edge of the wheel is felt more in turns;
  • there is a pleasant sensation (this should alert) that the car suddenly began to roll well.

Excessive tire pressure leads to excessive sensitivity to road irregularities and the risk of tire damage (Photo: Shutterstock)

What tire pressure should be in the tires

For each car model, the manufacturer sets its own optimal tire pressure. This indicator depends on the mass of the car, the speed of operation, the number of passengers (partial or full boarding), as well as the load on the trunk [1].

The recommended tire pressure can be found in the vehicle owner's manual or on one of the plates/stickers in the passenger compartment. They can be:

  • on the driver's door pillar or sill;
  • on the glove box door;
  • on the back of the gas tank hatch;
  • on the tailgate.

Tire pressure chart

Tire pressure is measured in several units. In Russia, they usually indicate in kg / cm 2 (or atmospheres) and bars (bar). These two indicators are almost equal, which is why they are often used as synonyms:

  • 1 bar = 0.986923 atm.

Foreign models often use pounds per square inch (pound per square inch), or psi:

  • 1 psi = 0.068948 bar;
  • 1 bar = 14.5 psi.

For convenience, car manufacturers can indicate pressure in two units at once - bar and psi. Thus, the need to independently calculate according to the formulas disappears. Otherwise, you can do this in one of the online calculators or check the table of popular values.

Most common tire pressures in bar and psi

2.0 bar 2.1 bar 2.2 bar 2.3 bar 2.4 bar 2.5 bar 2.6 bar 2.7 bar 2.8 bar
29psi 30psi 32 psi 33 psi 35 psi 36 psi 38 psi 39 psi 41 psi

Tire pressure in summer and winter

Temperature has a significant effect on tire pressure: when it drops, the pressure in the wheels decreases with it. When the temperature drops by 10 °C, the tire deflates by an average of 0.07–0.14 bar or 1 to 2 psi [2].

Temperature has a significant effect on tire pressure (Photo: Shutterstock)

Summer tires typically use manufacturer's recommended readings. But in winter, it is advised to add about 0.2 bar to these figures [3].

Experts also recommend checking and correcting tire pressure at outside temperature. In the cold season, swapping is best done not in a warm garage, but on the street. In summer, before such a manipulation, you should make sure that some of the wheels of the car were not under the scorching sun, while others were in the shade.

When to adjust the pressure: 5 examples

Sometimes the tire pressure needs to be adjusted according to the situation. For example, when the machine is fully loaded or a trailer is towed. For such cases, automakers, as a rule, separately indicate the optimal pressure.

But there are moments that fall into the category of extreme and non-standard (especially if before that the car most often drove around the city). Automotive expert Tatyana Eliseeva analyzed the most common of them.

Long trips on the highway

Leads to heating of the wheels, especially in summer, and therefore it is necessary to follow the manufacturer's recommendations before such a trip. We do not know what we will meet: patched road repairs or heavy rain. After all, for each of these situations, the recommendations will be opposite. Athletes can play with pressure when track conditions are known and engineers can always change the settings. For a long journey, the layman just needs to choose the average.


Tires must be bled off, especially on sand. The question is for how much? You can bleed up to 0.7 atm, but a not very experienced motorist can slip the wheels with an inaccurate movement, and if the driver turns the steering wheel sharply (for example, trying to catch on the edge of the track), then the tire can come off the disk. And such cases occur regularly.

On packed snow and ice

At near-zero temperatures on packed snow, ice or sludge for new wheels (velcro or studded) it is better to pump the wheels a little so that water and sludge are squeezed out of the central zone of the contact patch and the tread is better have worked. The wheel must be cleared for the tread to work. When it is clogged with snow, the braking distance and traction deteriorate greatly.

If the car has worn wheels, but with an acceptable tread depth for winter tires (4 mm), then you should not hope for the correct operation of the tread. Such a low checker no longer pushes the snow. In this case, it is necessary to reduce the pressure in the wheel, thereby increasing the same contact patch.

Photo: Global Look Press

With a loaded machine

On a country road, the weight of the machine will be an important factor. In this case, we select the pressure according to the load - specific indicators must be viewed on the central pillar of the body. There you will see something like the following recommendation: the more the car is loaded, the higher the pressure in the rear wheels should be.

But a badly broken road can lead to herniations, ruptures and tire damage. Therefore, if we increase the pressure, then we drive on a bad road as calmly and measuredly as possible. Or we slightly deviate from the manufacturer's recommendations and raise the pressure not as much as the manufacturer recommends.

In mountainous terrain

The main factor in changing the behavior of the wheel is not the pressure drop at altitude, but the presence of a large number of sharp turns and long braking. The tire will heat up not only from the loads, but also from the operation of the brake mechanisms. Therefore, the idea that due to low pressure it is necessary to increase the pressure in the tires is wrong, because the temperature of the wheel has a much greater influence in this case.

How to check the tire pressure

The recommended pressure is always given when the tires are cold. This means that the vehicle has not been driven for three hours or has traveled less than 1 mile (or one mile).

There are two ways to check tire pressure: on your own or at a workshop. In the first case, it is enough to use a public pump at a gas station or purchase a pressure gauge. This tire pressure measuring device comes in three types:

  • Switch . A simple working mechanism, as a rule, issuing a small error.
  • Electronic . Compact, handy digital screen, battery operated.
  • Rack or slide-out . Inexpensive, easy to use, but more fragile than other types.

Another option is to install special pressure control caps on each nipple. Such a gadget works as follows: the upper part of the cap is transparent and, depending on the level of pressure, an indicator of three colors appears in it. Green - the pressure is normal, yellow - the tire is flat, red - the pressure has exceeded the norm.

Photo: Shutterstock

The easiest way to monitor tire pressure is with the automatic TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System). Today it is installed on almost all models, and in some countries its presence is a prerequisite for releasing a car from the assembly line.

In these systems, the electronics automatically detect changes in the tire, and if the pressure drops below the recommended value, a warning signal lights up on the on-board computer screen.

There are two types of TPMS:

  • Direct. It uses pressure sensors in each wheel, and the on-board computer displays the actual air pressure.
  • Indirect. Calculates the size of the wheel and the distance it travels in one revolution. If this indicator changes, the system notifies the driver about the presence of a problem, but without accurate readings of air pressure.

How often to check tire pressure

Car manufacturers recommend checking tire pressure every two weeks, but at least once a month. Indeed, even under ideal conditions (for example, the car is idle for a long time), the wheels lose approximately 0.069bar, or 1 psi, per month [4].

The pressure should be monitored before and after a long trip, during a sudden change in temperature (for example, during the first frost or warming), and also after changing tires or driving with a load.

Also, don't forget the spare wheel. Automakers advise servicing it at least as often as the main wheels. As a rule, it has its own optimum pressure values, which can be found in the operating brochure or information table.

Recommended tire pressure for popular models in Russia [5]

Make and model Standard load front pressure Rear pressure at standard load
Lada Granta (standard version) 2.0 bar 2.0 bar
Lada Vesta 2. 2 bar 2.2. bar
Kia Rio 2.3 bar 2.3 bar
Hyundai Creta 2.3 bar 2.3 bar
Renault Duster 2.0 bar 2.0 bar

What pressure should the tires be?. Car tires TD KAMA of Russia

1. Car and tire manufacturer's recommendations for tire pressure

2. Pressure unit correspondence table

3. Why are deviations in tire pressure dangerous?

- Risks of insufficient tire pressure

- Risks of high tire pressure

4. How does tire pressure affect driving comfort and safety?

- Strength increase due to pressure

- Tire pressure for driving on the highway

- Off-road pressure

- Pressure and fuel economy

5. How does tire pressure depend on the season?

- Winter tire pressure

- Tire pressure in summer

6. How to check tire pressure?

7. How often should blood pressure be measured?

Headed out on the road? Check tire pressure. Permanent advice, which, alas, is often forgotten. In the meantime, properly inflated tires make driving comfortable, driving safer, and tire life longer. What should be the pressure? What are the dangers of over-inflated or under-inflated tires? We have collected answers to all questions, as well as useful tips, in one article. Everything written below will help you not only make your trip safe, but also save your budget. How? Read and level up.

What should be the pressure?

Vehicle and tire manufacturers recommendations

So, let's start with the banal. Each car manufacturer has standards and recommendations for the level of inflation pressure in tires. It's always best to stick with them. You can find the numbers you need:

* In the vehicle owner's manual

* On a special sticker inside the car (usually on the car door, B-pillar or gas cap)

* In the form of a QR code (relevant for the latest models, especially premium ones; the sticker with the code is located in the same places)

These cheat sheets contain all the information you need. The manufacturer stipulates not only the optimal level of internal tire pressure, but also the limits to which it can be increased or decreased relative to the norm. The amount of pressure depends on the size of the tires, on some cars the recommended pressure for the rear and front wheels differs. To summarize, for most passenger cars, the recommended constant tire pressure ranges from 2-2.5 atmospheres. This is the norm not only for a comfortable and safe ride, but also for fuel economy.

Tire manufacturers also indicate pressure on the label. But there is an important point here! The number on the sidewall of the tire is not the norm to strive for, but an indicator of the maximum pressure that the tire can withstand and not burst.

Correspondence table for pressure measurements

Tire pressure is measured in two units: atmospheres (or bars) and psi. Bars are the most common, it is in them that the pressure is measured in gauges in tire shops and gas stations. However, in some countries it is psi that is used - pounds per square inch. To avoid confusion, it is worth remembering that one psi corresponds to 0.068 bars.

Why are deviations in tire pressure dangerous?

Tire pressure affects how long tires last and how quickly they wear out. And not only. If the tires are over-inflated or, conversely, under-inflated, then their critical properties such as traction, vehicle directional stability when driving, handling (especially when cornering and on uneven surfaces), braking distance and resistance to aquaplaning will change.

Why is this happening? To answer this question, elementary knowledge of physics is enough. With the right gas pressure from the inside to the tire, the tire retains exactly the shape that was intended by the manufacturer. The contact patch of the tire with the road is also optimal, because the tread at optimal pressure also retains its shape and the necessary degree of flatness so that its pattern moves along the surface as it should (see figure).

The most dangerous situation is when there are different pressures in different wheels of a car. Yes, some manufacturers allow different pressures in the front and rear wheels, but in pairs, tires on the wheels of the same car axle must still match. If the pressure is not the same everywhere, then the car, when driving, will roll towards the “sagging” wheel - that is, the one where the pressure indicator is the lowest. Such a situation is a reason for technical inspection. If one of the tires loses pressure, it may be damaged. A change in pressure can also be the result of a misaligned wheel rim or a defective spool causing air to leak.

- Risks of insufficient tire pressure

Tires with low internal pressure or, in simple terms, under-inflated tires lose their shape when driving. They become softer, more pliable, and the weight of the car, especially at speed and when cornering, makes them literally sag and sag. What does it threaten?

  • Uneven wear. The side treads wear out faster than the middle tread because the tire has more contact with the road due to tire deformation.

  • Rolling resistance increases, which causes the tire to heat up more.

  • Acceleration time is increased.

  • Increased fuel consumption.

  • Threatening the integrity of the tire carcass and its rubber, especially in the side parts, which can lead to sidewall rupture. This can be warned by a worn strip that appears around the entire circumference of the tire - this is evidence of chafing of the cord threads.

  • Risk of tire dismantling. An under-inflated tire may come off the disc seat.

Tires deformed by long-term use at low inflation pressure become unsuitable for further use. Even if the pressure in them is brought to normal, the risk of rupture in the weakened parts remains. If you want to avoid unnecessary expenses - do not strain the tires.

- Risks of high tire pressure

With increased tire pressure, the part of the tread that should be flat and provide reliable traction becomes convex, literally swells up like a ball. As a result, the contact patch of the tire with the road is much smaller than planned by the manufacturer. Why is it dangerous?

  • The tread wears unevenly, faster in the middle than on the sides.

  • Decreased grip and handling.

  • Due to the reduction in the area of ​​contact between the tire and the road, the braking distance increases.

  • If the tire pressure is too high, the tire runs the risk of exploding.

  • Long driving on tires with high pressure overstresses the cords, such a tire will last much less.

  • The deformed contact patch of the tire with the road interferes with the effective removal of water, as a result, hydroplaning can occur on a wet surface.

How does tire pressure affect driving safety and comfort?

Sometimes the pressure in the tires still needs to be lowered or increased. It depends on certain driving conditions or the quality of the surface. For a short period of time, this will improve the driving characteristics of the car and driving safety. Of course, everything is within the manufacturer's recommendations, however, even small changes can greatly affect driving comfort.

- Increasing tire strength due to pressure

A slight increase in pressure can slightly raise the "tensile strength" of tires under excessive loads. Yes, overloading the car is bad, but sometimes you have to, especially when the summer season is on the nose. This is especially true for a car with an attached trailer, which increases the load on the rear wheels. Tires at least on the rear axle in this case, it is better to additionally pump up 0.2-0.3 bar. From the additional load, they still “sag” a little.

- Tire pressure for highway driving

Long and high-speed races on highways for tires are a strong test. Therefore, even the manufacturers of many cars advise in the operating instructions: before a long trip on a flat road (more than an hour at a speed of 115 km / h), it is better to slightly increase the tire pressure. The increase should be small - 0.2 atmospheres (bar). This recommendation also takes into account the fact that the pressure in the tire itself will increase from the heating of the tire.

- Off-road pressure

Tire pressure adjustment can help you get through difficult terrain. Driving on sand, snow, mud and wet grass will be easier if you lower the tire pressure a little. This maneuver will increase the contact patch of the tire with the surface, increase grip, and the car will be less likely to get stuck and skid. The main thing is to keep a low speed, and when the difficult section is left behind, restore the correct tire pressure again.

- Pressure and fuel economy

There is a myth that when the tire pressure is higher than normal, fuel consumption decreases. It really goes down, but it's not worth it. The savings will be only less than 5%, but driving comfort will drop significantly. The fact is that the tire becomes stiffer under excessive pressure, so that you and your passengers will feel all the bumps and bumps in the road. The point in saving on fuel is also lost because with constant driving on overinflated tires, the tires themselves wear out faster and more likely to require replacement costs.

How does tire pressure depend on temperature?

In winter and summer, the pressure in car tires may differ. This directly depends on the physical properties of the gas with which the tires are inflated. We all remember from school that at high temperatures, gas tends to expand, and at low temperatures, on the contrary, it contracts. Therefore, even if the tires were inflated recently, with temperature changes, this very pressure will change, and noticeably. On average, for every 10ºC, the air pressure in the tires changes by 0.1 bar.

- Tire pressure in winter

It is especially difficult to maintain constant tire pressure during cold snaps. Therefore, in the fall, changing summer tires to winter tires, checks must be approached carefully. It should be checked during the first frost and after the temperature drops well below zero. Most likely, the tires will need additional pumping. Keep in mind: in a warm garage or in a closed parking lot, it is difficult to catch the pressure drop in the tires. It will happen when you go out into the cold. Therefore, it is better to check and inflate tires after parking in the open air.

- Tire pressure in summer

Summer tire inflation is recommended to be carried out in a warm spring with a margin for the summer and at the end of summer before changing seasonal tires. However, this does not exempt from checks. The fact is that the warmer it is, the more the air in the tires expands - and the sooner it “comes out” through the chambers. In addition, pressure can drop with even microscopic tire damage, and in summer this happens even faster.

How to check tire pressure?

1. The pressure gauge is your best and indispensable friend in this matter. It can be either portable, up to the size of a key fob, or stationary, installed at a gas station, in a tire fitting room or other specialized car service facilities.

You can buy your own car pressure gauge at any auto parts and accessories store. They are pointer, mechanical or electronic. Not only its price, but also its accuracy depends on the class of the pressure gauge. The pressure gauge is mandatory installed on the compressor for pumping wheels - it is he who allows you to adjust the pumping process and the required amount of air supplied to the tire. But it can also be used separately to determine the existing pressure.

It is easy to check the accuracy of the manometer. Use it immediately after the tire fitting, where you will adjust the inflation pressure in the tire to the desired value, and just check the readings.

2. Automatic tire pressure monitoring systems. For example, premium cars are equipped with direct pressure sensors that are installed directly into the wheel rim. Sensors measure tire pressure and temperature, and the information is sent to the on-board computer. When pressure indicators change, a warning signal is received, or information is displayed on the computer panel in digital and alphabetic form. Similar direct control devices can be purchased and installed separately: pressure control sensors are installed in the wheels, and the receiving device is installed in the passenger compartment.

A similar system is part of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), but it works differently. The ABS system does not measure tire pressure, but wheel speed, and draws conclusions. The fact is that when the pressure decreases, the diameter of the tire changes, and the wheel starts spinning faster in order to “catch up” with the rest. The system captures these changes, checks them against valid values ​​stored in memory, and informs you of the mismatch.

3. Indicator caps are screwed onto the tire valves. These pressure sensors are transparent on top, and this part serves as an indicator: the change in color indicates the current state of the wheels. The obvious disadvantages of such a control system are that it is impossible to evaluate the change in tire pressure during movement with its help; a stop and a visual inspection are necessary.

How often should the tire pressure be checked?

Manufacturers recommend checking tire pressure once a month. But this is the minimum. Of course, under extreme operating conditions and sudden changes in temperature, it is not worth the risk and you need to check more often. And before a long journey or planned loads, checking the internal pressure in the tire is completely mandatory, even if it is extraordinary.

Important: pressure measurement is carried out only on cold tires - that is, those that have remained without movement for at least 5 hours.

5 most important findings

1. Tire pressure affects ride comfort, vehicle handling and your own safety.

2. Under-inflated tires wear out faster, can burst at the side and heat up much faster when driving. With prolonged use of tires with reduced pressure, tires are completely deformed so that they can no longer be restored.

3. Overinflated tires lose reliable grip, and the car loses controllability. In addition, when driving on overinflated tires, the braking distance is greatly increased, and each bump becomes more noticeable.

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