Driving on underinflated tyres is the easiest way to getting stranded on the roadside with a dramatic blow-out. The tyre pressure loss is a common problem during seasons when the temperature often drops overnight causing a sudden tyre deflation. So if one morning your dashboard informs you that you have to ‘Check tyre pressure’, it is a serious warning that you really have to! Specialists from the tyre shops tirendo.co.uk and giga-tyres.co.uk explain why tyre pressure loss is dangerous for your tyres and how to prevent this problem.
Why is the loss of tyre pressure hazardous?
Tyres are designed to tolerate the weight of a car with the help of a proper air pressure. When the tyre pressure is lost, all tyre components (rubber, fabric, and steel) expose oneself to an excessive overload through overheating and overflexing. This leads to the ply destruction and sidewall breakdown. Driving on such tyres, you are one minute from the blow-out. Tyre failure can cost you not only big money but also a life. But even if you are lucky enough to avoid the tyre failure, you will definitely experience steering problems. Front-axle under-inflation causes under-steering while the loss of air pressure on the rear axle leads to over-steering.
When does the tyre loss happen? Unless the reason is in a tyre puncture, even absolutely new tyres can lose pressure because of weather, usually in fall and winter. The cold night air outside the tyre has a higher atmospheric pressure than that inside the tyre, so it presses on the tyre and causes it to lose pressure.
How to avoid the tyre pressure loss?
Don’t wait for the dashboard light – check the tyre pressure regularly on your own! Modern cars have the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, but it won’t inform you about the pressure loss until it becomes really significant. If you don’t have tyre inflation means in your boot and this signal catches you in the midst of a lonely road in the broiling sun, you are in trouble. So it’s better to check the air pressure in tyres on your own using a tyre gauge and keep them inflated to the proper index (you can find these specifications in your car’s manual or on the driver’s door jamb).
Be prepared that your tyres will lose pressure over time. You can predict them to lose 1 psi per month and 1 psi for every 10 degrees F (approximately 5 degrees C) of the temperature drop. If your tyres lose more pressure, you should show them to a professional and get them checked for potential damages. Also inspect your tyres’ tread for the signs of irregular wear: constantly underinflated tyres wear faster on their sides.