We often tend to neglect the smaller less obvious details about our car that can significantly affect the car’s efficiency. One such significant factor, which the car’s overall performance strongly relies on, is the tyre pressure.
The issue regarding the correct or recommended inflation of a car’s tyre is a common issue for most drivers. Resolving this issue can simultaneously solve several other problems that can include an uncomfortable driving experience.
To start with, a driver must first have the knowledge about the optimum ore recommended pressure and how it is different from the maximum listed pressure.
Difference between Maximum Pressure and Recommended Pressure
The recommended and the maximum listed tyre pressure are often confused with each other. However, there lies a major difference between the two.
The maximum pressure is mentioned somewhere on the tyre itself which gives the information about the maximum cold pressure that is required for your car’s tyre in order to carry maximum load. This pressure is referred to as cold pressure as the tyre is filled at the perfect time, that is, when it is cold. It must be kept in mind that the pressure value which is mentioned in bold letters is not ideal in most driving scenario. If you blindly follow the mentioned maximum tyre pressure, you could potentially run into the following problems:
With your tyres inflated to reach the maximum pressure, the car becomes better at handling corners. However, the risk of the braking threshold increases so it will take a car longer to stop which could be dangerous in a emergency.
Overinflating the tyre by keeping at the maximum pressure can lead to serious damage to tyres as they become more prone to getting worn out quicker due to increased friction with the road surface. Therefore, when a car’s tyres are inflated to its maximum listed pressure, the average life of the tyre decreases massively. In such a scenario, the rubber starts of the tyre in the center tends to wear out easily. Additionally, this leads to reduction of traction and might as well cause a blowout.
To avoid these problems the recommended pressure is lower than what is listed as the maximum pressure. This is called the optimum pressure.
The optimum pressure is mentioned either on a sticker located at the door or the owner’s manual that comes along with the car. This pressure value refers to the minimum amount of pressure necessary for the vehicle to run. This recommended pressure level will support a car safely as anything less than the optimum pressure will lead to a premature wearing off the tyre tread due to excessive flexing and overloading of the tyre. Low pressure under the recommended value also causes a poor handling and reduced fuel efficiency.
Where can you find the Optimum Tyre Pressure for a car?
The common areas where you can find the tyre pressure for your car are as follows:
The first place to check, if you are trying to find out what the recommended tyre pressure is for your car’s tyres, is inside the drivers door or right behind the fuel flap. These two places usually have the manufacturer’s sticker stuck on them which contains the information regarding the correct pressure of the tyre. If any such sticker is absent, the next place to look for is the owner’s manual. You can also search the internet to find the correct tyre pressure level.
Once you are done with knowing the optimum pressure required for your tyre, it is time to find out what pressure your car’s tyre currently has. To determine the current pressure for your car’s tyre all you need to do is use a pressure gauge. You may already have your own pressure gauge or a gauge connected to a tyre inflator/compressor. In both cases connect the air valve to the gauge or inflator and check the current tyre pressure, always do this when the tyre is cold to get a more accurate reading.
How To Make The Current Tyre Pressure Reach The Recommended level?
There are two ways to bring the current tyre pressure as per the optimum tyre pressure depending on the difference between the two:
If the current tyre pressure is less than what it actually should be, the tyre needs to be inflated further. To do this you can use a foot pump, a 12v tyre inflator or a gas station tyre inflator. With the foot pump keep an eye on the pressure dial and stop pumping when you reach the recommended value. With some digital inflators you can set a pressure level and the unit will automatically stop at that set level.
In case the pressure of your car’s tyre is more than the optimum pressure, air has to be released from the tyre. This is achieved by pressing down on the tyre valve using a nozzle.
When air leaves the tyre valve a hissing noise is heard. This needs to be continued as long as the difference between the current pressure and the correct optimum pressure remains.
Advantages of Recommended Pressure for a Car’s Tyre
Now the question might arise that why take so much trouble to check the tyre pressure and maintain the correct pressure. It is because having the correct pressure for your car’s tyre ensures overall safety, increases the lifespan and helps fuel efficiency. One might ask how. To answer that, lets take some notice on how the tyre pressure, which is seemingly a very insignificant thing, affects your car and your driving.
Firstly, the tyre pressure determines how your car is able to handle turns and corners. How smoothly does your car come to a halt when you apply brakes is also determined by your car’s current tyre pressure. Your car’s tyre pressure is majorly responsible for how your car will act in response to cases of emergency like sudden brakes or turns. Last but not the least, maintaining the optimum tyre pressure also ensures a cost effective use of fuel for your car.
Being aware of the importance of the tyre pressure of your car for the sake of your driving safety is important. There is no harm is being a little more cautious and keeping a check on the tyre pressure of your car on a regular basis. This is important especially before starting off a long road trip with your car. Another habit you could get into is to have checked the pressure whenever you head to a petrol pump to add fuel to your car. Only then, you will be assured of having a safe and comfortable drive.
Lastly, it can be concluded that the maximum listed pressure is’nt the best for your car. It is better to stick to the optimum or recommended pressure for your cars tyre to work effortlessly. This will not just make your ride smooth with better handling and brake handling, but also ensure your safety which should always be of utmost priority.