When to check tyre pressure hot or cold?

Maintenance of a tyre is critical to ensuring your vehicle is safe to be driven. Ensuring tyres are correctly inflated is a simple task for even a novice driver and a prerequisite for the optimum performance of the vehicle.

If the tyre is inflated in a correct manner, it is sure to confer better fuel efficiency, quick steering response, longevity, and a smooth ride, as compared to the improperly inflated tyre.

Manufacturers of vehicles recommend a optimum tyre pressure which is displayed usually on a plate on the driver side pillar, by the fuel cap and in the owners manual. The pressure level is specific to the vehicle based on the size, type of the tyre, the weight of the car. Manufacturers recommended that a tyres pressure be check when they are cold for the most accurate results.

Having the incorrect pressure could lead to either over inflation or under inflation resulting in tyre failure or premature tread wear. Hence, it is important to check tyre pressure on a regular basis. The temperature of the tyre has a wide impact on the amount of inflation the tyre may or may not need.

Effect of temperature on tyre pressure

Science explains what happens inside the tyre as the temperature changes. The temperature within the tyre walls has an effect on the air molecules present in the tyre. When the temperature increases and the tyre gets hotter, the pressure inside the tyres will increase as the air molecules will gain energy to move around the tyre quickly. On the other hand, when the temperature within the tyre reduces opposite affect will take place with pressure reading of the tyre falling.

Effect of ambient temperature

Cold weather indicates that the pressure on tyre is less as compared to hot weather. Lower pressure enhances the amount of tyre which is in contact with the road that enhances the consumption of fuel. Low pressure makes the sidewalls of the tyre really flexible and compromises the handling and grip. It also indicates that there is a deformation in the tyre owing to the weight of the vehicle. It results in building up of heat in the rubber of the tyre, thereby bringing a reduction in life. For each reduction of one degree C, there is a drop down in the pressure by almost 0.19 PSI.

Effect on tyre pressure in cold conditions

The recommended tyre pressure, present in the manufacture manuals is specifically for the cold tyres. Thus, you can monitor the pressure of the tyre as it has not been driven for several hours prior to taking the measurement. The ideal time for the the test is during early morning or night time, prior to going to work or when the temperature present in the tyres is similar to the outside ambient temperature of the air. It indicates that the normal temperature of the tyres is up to +20 degree C.

If you are planning to take a look at the measurement of the air pressure during day time, if the temperature is really high, indicating that the tyres are not totally cold. The pressure present inside the hot tyres is really high during the time.

Do not reduce the pressure of the warm tyre. As the temperature begins to fall as the tyres cool down, the pressure may fall below the minimum tyre pressure.

In accordance with estimations, for each ten-degree fluctuation in the temperature of the air, there is an adjustment in the pressure of the vehicle tyre by almost one psi. Thus, in case there is a thirty degree reduction in temperature from the last time, you adjusted the last tyre pressure, there will be a drop down in the pressure of the tyre by almost 3 psi. In case the temperature becomes arctic, the rate at which there is a deflation in the tyre can be more than one psi for every ten degrees.

Effect of the rise of temperature on tyres

The temperature of the tyres will rise naturally as the vehicle is drive. When measuring a vehicle after just a 10 minute drive the external and internal temperature will have increases. As an estimate for each ten degrees rise in temperature, there will be an adjustment of tyres by almost one psi.

Until and unless there is no significant change from the optimum tyre pressure for the vehicle specification, you can be sure that the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) will not provide an alert for the over inflation.

In a similar way to under inflation, over inflation of tyres also have an impact on traction and performance. Over inflammation is considered to be a prominent cause behind wearing of tyres as people do not notice it most of the time.

How often the pressure inside tyres should be checked

It is recommended to check the pressure of the tyre on a monthly basis. Checking the pressure of the tyre regularly is the best option to ensure that there is no dipping of the tyres below the optimal PSI. This will ensure you extend the life of the tyres, improve fuel efficiency and have a smaller chance of a blow out.

Effect of the Sun on tyre pressure

The impact of the sun on the pressure of tyre can make a difference of almost fifteen percent. The tyres are known to absorb the heat and pass the same on the air, present inside the tyre.

It is recommended to keep the car in the garage while not in use as it will prevent exposure to extreme weather and temperature conditions. The air leaks naturally and hence it is recommended to check tyre pressure cold each month.

You should also ensure to monitor the pressure of the spare tyre. Make use of the cold inflation pressure and fill the tyres with the aid of the foot pump or a digital tyre inflator. More vehicle owners are filling tyres with the aid of nitrogen as it does not expand too much upon heating and there is no leakage of the tyres.

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