Inflation pressure is a very important parameter of the safety of driving, as well as long tire life. This parameter must be checked at least once a week, because tubeless tires popular today are extremely sensitive to changes in inflation pressure. The deviation of only 15% contributes to the fact that tire wear will increase three times. Poor quality road surface, as well as speed bumps and curbs lead to reduce pressure, which negatively affects the handling of cars and reduces road safety.
Optimum inflation pressure
Car tires are designed to provide enough adhesion to road surfaces. Correct inflation pressure provides even load distribution, which ensures tread endurance, normal fuel consumption, high car handling and manoeuvrability.
To measure pressure, you need a special device called a “tire pressure gauge”. Measurements should be made only after long-term parking, the most ideal version - before leaving a garage. Checking of “hot tires” can show a poor accuracy. So, as a result of measurements, it may occur that pressure in your tires is normal, high, low or different.
There are special tables where recommended inflation pressure reference values are specified. If any of the tires is under-inflated, then using a car compressor it is necessary to fill it with air, and then check pressure once again. If on the contrary, the tire is over-inflated, then you just need to let out a little extra air and measure pressure with tire pressure gauge again.
Some car owners are sure that the difference in pressure in summer and winter tires is the norm, but this is not entirely true. There is a general rate of pressure independent of the season. But from the school course of physics, we know that this value depends on temperature, so the values may vary. So, if in cold season you measure inflation pressure indoors, then the values will be slightly higher, but there is no need to lower the pressure in wheels, because in contact with cold road surfaces pressure will decrease and become optimal. Therefore, in winter it is better to take measurements outdoors, so the values will be more accurate. In summer, on the contrary, a tire heats up while driving, the air in tires expands and there is more pressure on the tire, so the tires must first cool down, and then inflation pressure measurements should be taken.
Some car owners believe that there is nothing wrong with the use of over-inflated tires. But the pressure should be normal, because when it is increased, the entire load falls on the central part of wheels, and then the tread wears out faster, and, in addition, the braking ability of a car is significantly reduced.
This is due to the fact that the tire contact area with a road surface is reduced, respectively, and the grip is less efficient, and the braking distance is lengthened. At the same time, a car is sliding on the road.
It should be noted that within twenty minutes of driving with the most aggressive cornering, pressure in car tires could increase by an average of 0.5 atm. And if we are talking about a long trip at high speeds, then this value can naturally be doubled. Although modern car tires can withstand such loads, the risk of over-inflated tires should be minimized.
In addition, if an over-inflated tire also has a bulger or a cut on the surface, this can even lead to the tire burst while driving. Therefore, an over-inflated car tire can lead to bad and even catastrophic consequences (up to a serious accident on the road).
A flat tire also brings a lot of problems. Tread quickly wears out on the sides, as the soft parts of the tire get maximum load when in contact with various road surfaces. But, even worse, that insufficient pressure in the tires leads to tire and rim imbalance, and, as a result, the steering response in corners will be slower. Sometimes, instead of turning, the wheel just collapses. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the tire pressure does not fall below standard values. This is especially true for winter period, because due to the low temperature, the pressure can decrease more significantly. In addition, this problem leads to increased fuel consumption.
Different values of tire inflation pressure
Most often, there are situations when one tire is over-inflated and the other is under-inflated. Different values of inflation pressure can cause skidding and turning manoeuvre during emergency braking, because the wheels will have different traction. It can be caused by defects of valve cores or uneven tread wear.
Even the most expensive and high-quality car tires require proper care, so if you notice any problems in driving, fuel consumption or tire wear, immediately check the pressure.