WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2014
Blog By: Dustin Lano
It's no fun to check air pressure in tires this time of year, but now is probably the most important season to pay attention to this. Tires lose about 1 pound of air pressure per square inch (PSI) for each 10 degrees of temperature drop. So if you last checked them when it was 60 degrees outside, it's likely you could be 4 to 8 lbs under-inflated based on normal Upper Midwest weather during January and February.
That's enough of a drop to make a difference in tire wear, and more importantly, it could affect safe handling of your car. Both are good reasons to monitor your tire pressure.
It's important to know how much air your car manufacturer recommends. Even if your car has a dash board feature that gives you a PSI reading, you need to know what to compare that number to. Most models post this on a sticker on your driver's side door.
The best time to check tire pressure is when the tires are cold. Friction from driving heats the air and raises the PSI, but the recommended inflation number is always based on the tires being cold.
Even if your knees get grimy and your fingers get numb checking your tires with an old fashioned tire gauge, that's a small price to pay for the peace of mind gained from knowing you have the right tire pressure.