One of the most important and easiest things you can do to improve the performance and longevity of your tires, and save money, is to have the correct tire pressure.
Tire pressures are impacted by outside temperature, weather conditions and whether the vehicle has been driven any distance. Any or all of these can change your tire pressures from 6 to 10 psi (pounds per square inch). Tire pressures for most vehicles can be found in the owner’s manual, on your driver’s door area by the door latch, or where the door latches to the body pillar of the vehicle.
It is very important to note that the pressures listed are always for when the tire is cold. No, you can’t drive a few blocks to the gas station and inflate them to the cold pressure, since this will set them too low, or what is called underinflated.
If you do not have a compressor at home, you can follow these easy steps:
Driving home at the end of your day, stop at the closest location to your home that has air. Fill your tires 6 pounds (psi) over the tire inflation recommendation, and the next day, BEFORE you move your vehicle, let the air out of each tire until it reaches the manufacturer’s recommendation. Don’t forget to check the spare tire as well.
Rotating the tires is next to tire pressure as one of the keys in maximizing the performance of your tires. My personal recommendation is to have the tires rotated every time you have an oil change. You cannot do this too often, and it will help keep uniform wear on all tires.
With regular rotation, you will be able to detect an irregular wear pattern sooner, allowing you to take corrective action. When you correct a tire wear concern, you’re extending the life of your tires. Most manufacturers suggest a front-to-back rotation pattern. Be aware that some vehicles have two different tire sizes or rim widths, which will not allow a traditional rotation. In some cases, the manufacturer will recommend mounting and dismounting the tires for rotational purposes. Please consult with your favorite service shop for guidance.
By Danny Branom, contributing writer and owner/operator of Christian Brothers Automotive in Towne Lake.