It’s low tire pressure season! The sun is setting sooner, Halloween decorations are up, the leaves are turning a lovely orange and those TPS sensors are going off like crazy. Get in for you tire pressure checks today!
Why Does Cold Weather Mean Low Tire Pressure?
In a nutshell, low temps mean lower pressure and high temps mean higher pressure. It is important to check your tires for the correct air pressure when the weather changes. In the Pacific Northwest, this can change in as little as one day, so be prepared to check your tires right away once you feel that chill in the air. Read on to learn how this change in temperature affects tire pressure.
It is important to properly inflate your tires before driving. You can find the information about your pressure recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual or on the labels on the inside of your vehicle. Before you begin driving, you should make sure to check the pressure of your tires in cold temperatures. Find great pressure gauges at a great price on Amazon.
Tire pressure can also change as a result of temperature and altitude. At sea level, air pressure is 14.7 psi, while air pressure in a 5,000-foot-high mountain is only 12.2 psi. As a result, the pressure of the tires will differ, but the tires will continue to provide the same level of performance.
If you’re traveling by car, altitude and cold affect pressure. Generally speaking, pressure will increase as altitude increases, and tire temperature decreases. The two effects are usually correlated, but in some cases the effects cancel each other out. For best results, it is best to check tire pressure before driving in either high-altitude or cold-weather conditions.
Signs of Low Tire Pressure
When driving in cold weather, you’re more likely to notice the signs of low pressure. The low-pressure warning light or TPS on your car’s dashboard might come on, but the indicator may not remain on for more than a few minutes. This is because tire pressure is affected by temperature changes, and a ten-degree drop can decrease your tire pressure by as much as 10 PSI. To avoid this, it’s best to check your tire pressure regularly.
Low pressure can lead to poor fuel economy, unsafe driving and uneven wear. It can also affect the way your car handles and brakes. If your tires are underinflated and you’re driving on them, you will cause unnecessary wear on your tires. Fortunately, checking pressure is easy. Just look for the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual, or on the driver’s side door stickers.
Tire Pressure Sensors (TPS)
TPS’s like to go off after the first really cold snap in the weather. This does not always indicate that you have an issue with one of your tires. Sometimes the drastic drop in temperature and pressure causes your TPS light to stay on. While it’s often likely that a TPS just need to be reset for the cold weather season, it’s best to get your tires inspected to ensure they are performing at their best for you and your vehicle.