Tyre pressures – do they really make any difference? Well, surprisingly lots! Fuel economy, tyre wear, superior handling, reduced braking distances, reduced CO2 emissions and reduced chance of aquaplaning. These are obviously important to everybody from owners of vehicles with 4×4 tyres to car and van tyres.
So first things first, how do you know what the correct tyre pressures are? This information is generally found in either the vehicle owner’s manual and printed on the ledge inside the driver’s door. Some manufacturers also print tyre pressures on the inside of the petrol cap. Once you have found this information there will generally be an option of normal driving or driving with a heavy load. If you are going on holiday and will have all the family in the car plus cases etc it is worth checking your car tyres are not under-inflated.
The next stage is to check and adjust the tyre pressures accordingly. If you have a pump this can be done at home or at most petrol stations. Simply remove the dust cap and fix the pressure gauge on to the valve. The gauge will tell you if the tyre is at the correct pressure or is under or over inflated. If the tyre requires more pressure simply inflate to the correct pressure. If the tyre is over inflated press the valve down to release this additional pressure.
The dangers and costs of not doing this simple maintenance can be huge. Blow outs can be caused by under inflated tyres. This is when the tyre does not have enough air to hold the weight of the vehicle.The sidewalls are compressed and with them flexing over the normal limits, this causes additional heat which can lead to a blow out. It does not matter if you have bought premium tyres or cheap tyres – this can happen with either, which just shows the dangers of not looking after your tyres.