Every motorist in the process of operating his car must have a basic knowledge of its technical characteristics and monitor the current state of the car. For a comfortable car ride and a long service life of the main units, it is necessary to change the engine oil on time, monitor fuel consumption, monitor the battery charge, and know what tire pressure should be at certain times of the year.
Often, many drivers do not pay attention to the latter factor and overlooking the tire pressure rate metric. However, this metric can seriously affect off-road capability, vehicle stability and fuel consumption. What is the recommended tire pressure? How can I check the tire pressure? – a detailed description of these and other issues related to car wheel care, will be considered in this article.
How is tire pressure measured?
Tire pressure is measured in a unit called Bar (technical atmosphere) – in these units, the pressure gauges in the tire shops are counted.
PSI is a pressure index that is used in countries with an inch system. 1 PSI is the pressure of 1 psi, to find out how much it is in Bars, you need to divide by approximately 14.5 (the exact measurement is eaten by the error of the manometer)
What is the best tire pressure value?
To find out what is the optimal level of tire pressure for a particular car brand, just look at its technical manual data. If the documentation is lost or not there, then this data is usually displayed on some car parts. So, the recommended tire pressure is sometimes stamped on:
● the inside of the driver’s door;
● the glove compartment in the cabin;
● fuel filler flap;
● on the body pillar,
● near the driver’s door
Why is it important to know the correct pressure for car tires?
First of all, you need to understand that modern car tires are tubeless, that is, the entire space from the disc to the tire is filled with air without special rubber tubes, as it was before. These tires have a high level of pressure sensitivity. If the pressure in them decreases by about 5th of the norm or, on the contrary, is increased by more than 20-25%, then the tires wear out faster, and driving on them becomes unsafe.
In addition, as a result of low or high tire pressure, fuel consumption increases, the car loses stability, and off-road performance drops. In the most extreme cases, an incorrectly inflated wheel can “shoot” (burst / explode). It is good if this happens when the car is at a standstill, but if it happens while driving, it might cause a serious accident.
Please note that even with ideally inflated tires, the pressure may deviate from the norm due to weather conditions (temperature changes), unevenness of the road surface, holes, etc.
Difference between the front and rear wheel pressure
The value of pressure in the tires of a car is determined by its technical characteristics, weight, and type of car. As a general rule, the pressure in the front- and the rear tires should be the same. However, when inflating tires, you should always adhere to the recommendations of the car manufacturer indicated in the passport, on the body, or on the fuel filler flap. Sometimes, in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive cars, you can find different recommended pressure rates – in the front 29 psi, in the rear – 32 psi.
It is worth to mention that when inflating the front and rear wheels, one should always take into account the load of the car. So, for example, if bulky things are transported in the car in the trunk or the cabin is fully occupied by passengers, then naturally this will increase the load on the rear of the car. Therefore, in such cases, it is recommended to inflate the tires so that the pressure in the rear tires is slightly higher.
How does tire pressure depend on road conditions?
Please note that in addition to technical and climatic factors, the quality of the road surface also affects the level of tire pressure. This means that the more holes and bumps on the road, the greater the load on the wheels. Thus, if the driver knows for sure that the road on which he has to drive is uneven and with a large number of holes, then the tires should be inflated by 3-5 psi higher than the recommended standards. Likewise, in a situation with off-road driving – in this case, the load on the tires increases due to the uneven surface of the coating, so they should be inflated slightly above normal
What tire pressure should be in winter and summer?
Tire pressure also depends on weather conditions and the season, in particular on the air temperature. The reason for this is the physical compression of oxygen at low temperatures, or vice versa, an increase in the volume of air gas in case of heat
Usually, the tire pressure in winter and summer is not very different. However, experienced drivers advise keeping the tires a little under-inflated during the cold season. The main reasons for this are called:
● improved grip on the road surface in ice and increased stability characteristics of the vehicle;
● shortening the braking distance;
● softening the load on the car’s suspension system
In the summer, the tire pressure, while other factors being equal, should correspond to the value stated in the car manual, and in the winter it is recommended to reduce it by 10-15 percent.
Each driver needs to know exactly what pressure to pump in the tires because the consequences of under-pumped or over-pumped wheels can be very different: from the vibration of the car body to a fatal accident.
As you can see, the pressure in the tires of the vehicle plays an important role in the operation of the car and affects the safety of driving in general.