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Under PressureStory on Car Care Tips: Check Your Car Tyre Pressure


Informative story on how to do basic car tyre maintenance.


How to know how much tire pressure is needed?

Previous Story: Slow Doon Or Stop?

Rosh asked his son to drive up and stop beside a tyre pump at the gas station, after they had filled up with fuel.

“Car tyres have a recommended pressure they should be inflated to,” he said. “Let me show you how and where to check it normally and how to refill your tyres.”

“Even though there isn’t much to driving a car or to looking after modern cars, you can still do some regular basic checks to control their running costs significantly.”

"It is an important check and needs to be done regularly. Like other basic car care tests, it only takes a few minutes.”

“Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Tyres can quickly become underinflated, so you should check them regularly.”

“Contrary to popular belief, tire pressure is not determined by the type of tyre or its size but by how much load you are carrying in your vehicle and your driving speed.”

“That air is being lost from your tyres, is not always obvious. But air generally escapes at the rate of up to two PSI every month. More air is usually lost during warm weather, so you should do more regular pressure checks when temperatures rise.”

“What’s PSI?” asked Hosh.

“Tyre pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds per square inch (PSI) or BAR pressure,” said Rosh.

“How will I know if my car tyres have become incorrectly inflated?” asked Hosh.

“When you become experienced, you’ll know just by the way your car handles. When I was learning, I used to just check it regularly using the gauge at the petrol stations.”

“With experience, you’ll also begin to see that under inflated tyres show excessive wear on the inside and outside edges of the tread if they are left underinflated for some time, because of their uneven contact with the road.”

“Not only does low tyre pressure wear your tyres out more quickly, but it requires a bigger force to make them turn. So, improperly inflated tyres make your car use more fuel too.”

“With experience, you’ll also begin to notice this increased rolling resistance with the road, and see how it reduces your fuel efficiency and increases your CO2 emissions.”

“Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip of your car, and can potentially cause irregular or unpredictable vehicle behavior on the road. They are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.”

“But putting too much air in tyres can be just as damaging and costly. Over inflated tyres make smaller contact with the road - which can lead to a loss of traction and poorer braking distances.”

“Overinflated tyres wear heavily and unevenly across the central part of the tyre, so they too have shorter lifespans. So, both over- and under-inflated tyres wear faster than correctly inflated tyres and need to be replaced more often."

“Maintaining the correct tyre pressure will help extend the life of your tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency. Incorrect tyre pressure will hit you in the pocket in many other ways too.”

“So, to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life, increased safety and reduced carbon-di-oxide (CO2) emissions, keep your tyres at their optimum pressure. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month and always before a long journey.”

“But how do I check them?” Hosh asked.

"Let me show you," said Rosh, getting out of the car. Hosh followed.

Rosh showed him how to use the gas station gauge, while talking about the new, inexpensive yet reliable gauges, that were now available from the market.

"Let's get one for us too," he said, "before we go home today."

Next Story: How To Fill Air In A Car Tyre

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