What tire pressure is too low?

Have you ever wondered what tire pressure is too low? Tires are made to operate at a certain pressure range. Having too little or too much pressure can have adverse effects. Based on the information you can find out how much air you need in your tire.

Why tire pressure is important

Having the correct tire pressure can extend the life of the tire. Having too low or too high of pressure can cause you to have an accident. Car manufacturers have a set pressure or pounds per square inch that they suggest having your tire set to. They have designed your car to work a certain way.

The engineers who designed the car know the geometry of the car. Having incorrect tire pressure can through off the suspension of the car and affect handling. Plus if your tire pressure isn’t correct it could actually lead to you getting into an accident.

Why low tire pressure is bad

Low pressure in a car tire is not good. If your pressure is too low you could have a blowout. As the weight of the vehicle sits on the low or flat tire it can break some of the strands in the tire. In addition, it can destroy the sidewall of the tire. The sidewall is a major constructional part of the tire and if it’s damaged you may need to purchase a new tire.

Low tire pressure can affect handling. If your tire happens to lose pressure rapidly it could cause you to swerve off the road or into another car. Making sure your tire pressure is at a safe level will assure you that can drive safely on the road.

Driving on low tire pressure can affect the wear of your tire. When you drive down the road the majority of the weight will be on the outsides of the tire. That means that the outside will wear quicker than the inside. In turn, you’ll have to replace the tire sooner.

Why high tire pressure is bad

Having too high of pressure in your tire can lead to serious issues. If you are overfilling a tire there is a chance it could explode. In some cases this has been deadly. This is why tire manufacturers put a maximum tire pressure on the side of the tire.

The maximum tire pressure is not the recommended pressure. It just means that you should not fill the tire any higher than the max or you could damage the tire. Or worse, injure yourself.

High tire pressure can affect the wear of a tire. If the pressure is too high you will have excessive wear on the inside of the tire. Tires are meant to wear evenly. If you are getting extra wear you might have to replace your tire sooner.

How can you determine your correct tire pressure

Find your tire pressure in your owner’s manual

There are a few different ways to check what tire pressure your vehicle calls for. First, you can check your car’s owner manual. There there will be detailed information on the tire pressure, sizes, and more information.

Find your tire pressure on the inside of your driver door

If you open up your driver door there is usually a sticker placed on the inside of the door. There you will typically find the correct tire pressure. Based on that number you can fill your tire up to the right pressure.

Searching online

A quick online search will help you find you car’s suggested tire pressure. After you find the amount you can fill your tire to that amount.

How to check your tire pressure

Automatically

New cars come with a TPMS sensors. This stands for tire pressure monitoring system. It has been in most vehicles after 2005. This system usually tells you if one of your tires is low.

On the more advance systems it can tell you which tire is low and what pressure the tire is at. With that information you can see which tire needs air. When you fill your tire make sure that all of the tires are within 2 psi of each other. You can’t have 33, 36, 36, 36. Your TPMS light will still stay on. As long as you have the tire pressure within 2 psi of each other the tire light will go off.

Manually

If you would prefer to check your tire manually you can purchase a tire pressure gauge. An electronic tire pressure gauge is simple to use and you get quick results. You simply remove the cap from your tire. Next, you turn on the gauge and press it on the tire valve. Remove the gauge and you should see a reading.

If you are using a traditional tire pressure gauge then you’ll have to remove the cap from the tire. You then make sure that the portion of the gauge that pops up is pressed down. From there place the gauge on the valve and a portion of the gauge will pop up. Remove the gauge and read the lines on the gauge. You can repeat these steps until you get your tire pressure to the desired psi.

How to fill your tire with air

You can fill your tire at most gas stations

Automatic air pumps

Nowadays gas station air pumps are mostly automatic. Find a gas station that has an automatic air pump in your area. You simply insert money or swipe your card. You can then set the desired amount of air pressure and the pump will stop when it reaches that number.

Manual gas station air pumps

The traditional gas station air pumps require a little more attention. You can usually pay the same as automatic pumps put you have to periodically check the pressure to insure that you aren’t overfilling the tire. Every so often remove the hose from the car and check your tire pressure. If you are still low you can add some more.

You can fill your tire at home

If you have an air compressor at home you can fill your tire there. If the compressor has a wall plug you can plug it in and turn it on. Let it fill up with air then you can start filling your tire. Just make sure you don’t overfill the tire.

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You can fill your tire on the go

If you have a mobile tire inflator you can fill your tire wherever you are. Plug your electric tire inflator into your cigarette lighter for power. You can then attach the hose to one of your tires and fill it up to the correct amount.

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What tire pressure is too low?

There isn’t a definitive number on which tire pressure is too low. Although a safe guess would be no less than 28 psi. On the other hand, we recommend running a tire at your manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

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