There has been much ado over the effectiveness of regularly checking the air pressure of your vehicle’s tires. From safety concerns to maximizing fuel economy, monitoring and correcting tire air pressure is a very import step in any regular maintenance procedure.
According to some industry insiders, what is printed on the vehicles doorjamb or the sidewall of the tire may not be good for the health of the tire, control of the vehicle or the safety of the occupants within.
Naturally, we want to feel that manufactures have done the research, crashed many sample cars and complied with government regulators. Yet, highly publicized consequences of underinflated tires and the willingness of the public to point fingers at everyone but themselves just confuses the matter even more.
What is the Correct Air Pressure for my Tires?
When in doubt, following the automotive manufacturer’s recommendations is the safest bet, but if your tires are not the original brand and size, or you have added a set of aftermarket “Fat Fasties,” then it’s up to you and the tire installer to find the right settings for your situation. The roads traveled, speeds driven and the way we use our cars, trucks and SUVs all are unique. What is suitable for one driver may cause problems for another.
A Good Example
Street rod and tricked-out 4x4 owners should pay special attention to tire pressures because these vehicles see duty beyond the day-to-day commute. Hauling a cord of wood down from the hills can exact a heavy toll on an aftermarket set of tires and wheels when not properly inflated, not to mention the loss of stability, performance and safety. The same goes with sports cars. Racetrack pressures and daily driving don’t mix.
Keeping a regular eye on tread wear patterns and good quality tire gauge can go a long way to ensuring that your vehicle and your wallet are safe.