How Temperature Affects Tire Inflation

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Tire with quarter

You can measure the tread on your tires in as much time as it takes to get in and start your Lexus. See for yourself: Simply grab a quarter and find the grooves that go around your tire. Turn Washington upside down and insert him headfirst into a groove. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for new tires.

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Once the weather cools, your car may begin signaling you that your tire pressure is low. That’s because the outside temperature has an impact on tire pressure.

When the temperature is high, the air in your tires takes up more volume, whereas when the temperature is cold, the air takes up less volume.

The inflation pressure in tires generally drops by 1 to 2 psi for every 10 degrees the temperature lowers.

Also, when you drive your car, and the tires warm up, the pressure in the tires will increase one psi during each five-minute interval in the first 15 to 20 minutes you drive.

Tire manufacturers have a recommended psi, which dictates an optimal pressure level for your car and its tires. However, that psi number is set for when your tires are cool.

Ideally, when you add air to your tires in the wintertime, you should fill them up when they are still cool. However, since most people don’t have a way to inflate them at home, you will probably have to drive to a gas station first.

Before you leave home, measure the tire pressure for each tire and make a note of it. When you get to the gas station, measure the tires again, then add the amount of pressure you needed based off of the first reading.

If you leave your tires underinflated, it will cause you to lose some control of steering, increase friction, cause more wear on your tires, and decrease your car’s efficiency in using gas. However, if you overinflate your tires, your ride will be bumpier.

Performance Lexus RiverCenter is located at: 633 West 3rd Street • Covington, KY 41011
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