Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Keep the rubber side down! This is a famous auto slang meaning ‘Be safe’. No doubt, a vehicle’s tyres are regarded as one of the most important parts of the vehicle because the tyres are what transfers the traction and braking force to the ground.
Many a time, we ignore to check the tyre pressure and unknowingly put ourselves as risk. Tyres pressure naturally decreases over a period of time and it is important to keep it at normal levels. The below points explain the reason why:
1. Tyre life: To get the maximum life out of your tyres, it is necessary to maintain the manufacturer specified tyre pressures. Under inflation of tyres drastically reduces the tyre life because of the increased surface area, having its impact majorly on the sidewalls. Over inflation decreases the surface area leading to more wear in the central tread.
2. Mileage: Under inflation increases the tyre surface area, hence requiring the engine to put in more effort for rotating the tyres, hence decreasing the mileage. Over inflation can increase the mileage to a certain extent but in turn decreases the tyre life and increasing the braking distance. Hence it is very important to maintain the manufacturer specified tyre pressures.
3. Handling: Maintaining manufacturer specified tyre pressure helps in optimum handling and cornering capabilities for your vehicle.
4. Braking Distance: According to a study published in the International Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, “Comparison of results shows that the vehicle had the longest stopping distance when the tires were inflated to 20% higher pressure than indicated by the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle had the shortest braking distance when the tires have been inflated 20% less than the prescribed pressure”. Vehicle manufacturers prescribe the tyre pressure for the optimum stopping distance with the correct handling. Hence overinflated or underinflated tyres can mess with the stopping distances, which should be avoided. The full study can be accessed here.
How to know the manufacturer specified tyre pressure
Most manufacturers will mention the prescribed tyre pressure on the inside of the driver’s side door. This should be immediately visible when the door is opened. If not there, it would be on the inside of the fuel filler flap. If not there as well (chances are very less) please refer to the owners’ manual.
When to check the tyre pressure?
Tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold, i.e., parked for atleast 3 hours. This is because when running, heat is generated in the tyres, increasing the pressure inside the tyres.
How to check the tyre pressure?
1. Using a TPMS system: TPMS stands for tyre pressure monitoring system. It uses sensors to monitor the actual tyre pressure and report to you either through Bluetooth, directly to your phone or to an HUD system mounted on your dashboard. These systems are quick, accurate and provide the pressure reading of all four tyres at the same instant, hence you do not need to get the reading of all four tyres separately.
These can be of two types: Internal and external. Internal TPMS systems requires professional help for installation as the wheel has to be dismounted and the tyre removed for installation, followed by alignment and balancing. External TPMS systems is just a screw mount on the tyre valve and can be installed within seconds.
Visit autofolk.in for ordering the first TPMS system for your prized possession. Buying an internal TPMS, do not worry, we will let you know where to get it installed from.
2. The traditional way: The tyre pressure can also be checked in the traditional way using gauges. Visit autofolk.in to have access to the best in class pressure gauges available in the market.
How to inflate or deflate your tyre:
For inflating your tyres, both foot pump and electrical pump operated inflators are available in the market. The electrical ones take power from your cigarette lighter socket and fill up the tyre within minutes. These have inbuilt gauges, helping you read the pressure while inflating. For deflating, simply activate the deflation/bleed valve and you are golden. Make sure to order a model which suits your tyre pressure. Visit autofolk.in and choose your favourite from the various inflators from world class brands available for sale.
You can also get it topped up from the fuel stations, but in most cases since you would drive there, the tyre would not be cold, giving you inaccurate readings.