- August 30, 2017
- By Emma G
- In Tires
If your car feels “drifty” you may have low tyre pressure. Fortunately, it is easy to adjust your tyres air pressure at your local petrol station.
Firstly, your tyres must be cold.Heat causes air to expand, and if they’re too warm, you will get an inaccurate reading. The recommendations vary, but ideally you should choose a service station close by. You can also purchase an air pressure gauge from places like Cheap Auto Spares or Repco if you want to do this at home.
Always follow manufacturers recommendations for minimum PSI (pounds per square inch) for your tyres. Two-wheel drive sedans should generally have a pressure of 30psi (pounds per square inch). Four-wheel drives should have a tyre pressure of approximately 40psi. Don’t forget to take inconsideration the temperature as tyre pressure is affected by heat. The higher the temperature the higher the psi
Locate the valve stem cap (usually black or silver) and unscrew it. Attach the air hose to the tyre nozzle. Use the air hose to add air in short bursts.
Use the tyre gauge to check the air pressure in the tyre. Check the pressure after each time with the tyre gauge. If you add too much air, let some out by pressing the pin on the tyre nozzle.
Over inflating tyres creates a smaller area of contact with the road and can cause uneven tyre wear, effect braking, handling, tyre noise and ride comfort. On the plus side, rolling resistance is reduced which could improve fuel consumption.
On the other hand, under inflated tyres have a larger contact area, which may increase fuel consumption. Tyre wear will be affected, and the tyres will heat up faster because of increased friction. This will reduce your tyre life and can be dangerous when it comes to braking performance and poor handling ability.
Spare tyres should be kept at approximately 10psi more than necessary they can deflate slightly over time.
If you’re loading up the cargo area or transporting a car full of adults, add around 3-4PSI to your rear tyres. Adjust the pressure back to the recommended PSI when you’re back to normal driving.
4 Wheel Driving
When it comes to 4WD-ing, the general rule of thumb is to decrease tyre pressure by 4-6PSI depending on the type of terrain. The aim is to increase the surface contact area of the tyre for stability, and reduce the risk of punctures or tyre blowouts.
How often should I check my tyre pressure?
Tyre pressure should be checked once a fortnight, or at the least once a month because air can be lost through a solid substance by permeation. Permeation is a process by which air is lost through a solid substance. So, you will lose air slowly from your tyres even if there’s not a puncture. The weather also has an effect. A change of 10 degrees can change the pressure by 1PSI.
If you have questions call Sandro the Townsville Mobile Mechanic on 0400 401 171.