Why You Need to Check Tire Pressure More Often When Temperatures are Low

Why You Need to Check Tire Pressure More Often When Temperatures are Low

It’s not difficult to maintain a constant tire pressure throughout the year, but when Decembers comes along with the cold and wet weather, you’d be experiencing a constant illumination of your tire pressure light, even after a recent check-up. What’s the reason for that?

Low Winter Temperatures Cause TPMS to React

You can really blame it on the low winter temperatures. Changes in temperature affect your tires’ air pressure. Hot weather causes the air within your tires to expand and eventually over-inflate, and cold weather cause exactly the opposite. Vehicles that have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), this can be a serious problem, because you’d be seeing your TPMS light illuminating more frequently than usual.

The good news is that it’s not a serious problem. When the TPMS light is illuminating, this means that the computer of your vehicle is letting you know that you need to add air into your tires. Generally, for every 12 degree Celsius drop in the environmental air, your tire pressure will decrease with 1 pound per square inch (PSI) and vice versa, when the temperature rises.

Although it’s not something serious, it’s important to adjust your tire’s pressure nevertheless. If the air pressure of your tires is incorrect, you’ll experience frequent gas stops due to the lower fuel efficiency. At the same time, having a correct tire pressure can improve gas mileage.

Regular Check-Ups of Your Tire Pressure

Every manufacturer of vehicles lists a recommended inflation pressure and tire size on the vehicle’s tire information plate, that is usually found on the door frame on the driver side, or in the owner’s manual. However, bear in mind that the actual pressure in the tire varies significantly because of factors like weather.

Usually, the TPMS will be on in the morning, because this is the coldest part of the day. The light might disappear as the temperature rises, but there’s a decent chance that the tire is still under-inflated. That’s why it’s very important to check the tire pressure on a regular basis during the cold months.

You need to check the pressure of your tires at least once a month. We also have to mention that some TPMS won’t alert you until the tire is severely under-inflated, which could cause a serious safety hazard. Get acquainted with your car’s TPMS, and depending on its mood, you might want to check your tire pressure more frequently.


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