Inflate your tires properly this winter

 

 

     
Inflate your tires properly this winter
September 23, 2009


(NC)—Make sure you practice proper tire inflation techniques before the snow flies or you could find yourself calling a tow truck, or worse, an ambulance. Since the air pressure in tires supports the weight of your car, it is absolutely imperative that you inflate your tires to just the right degree. This is especially important in winter when tires lose their pressure faster in colder weather. Underinflating or overinflating your tires increases your fuel consumption
and therefore your expenditures, pumps out unnecessary harmful emissions and increases the risk of damage and injury to you, your passengers and your vehicle. Here are a few tips from
Transport Canada for maintaining proper winter tire inflation:

• Measure your tire inflation at least once a month;

• Measure the pressure when the tires are cold (after two hours of non-use or less than two kilometres of driving). Tires lose pressure when the air temperature gets colder (about seven kilopascals, or one pound per square inch, for every 5°C drop in temperature). Tires may also
lose a certain amount of pressure due to their permeability (about 14 kPa or 2 psi per month);

• Inflate your tires to the recommended pressures printed on the label inside your car or in your owner's manual;

• Use a high quality gauge such as those sold at automotive supply stores;

• Underinflation increases rolling resistance, which reduces tread life and increases fuel consumption. It can also lead to sudden tire failure. Without enough air, the sides of a tire bend and flex too much. This builds up heat, which can cause serious damage. Operating a
vehicle with just one tire underinflated by 56 kPa (8 psi) can reduce the life of the tire by 15,000 km and can increase the vehicle's fuel consumption by four per cent;

• Overinflation can be a problem, too. An overinflated tire rides on just the centre portion of the tread. The smaller contact area means reduced grip on the road. This can lead to a harsh ride, handling issues (such as steering and stopping problems) and increased wear on tires and suspension components.

Transport Canada has posted these and other tire maintenance tips at http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp /tp2823/inflating.htm.

 

 

 
     
     

 

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