“Check your tire pressure or you’ll get a flat!” These words of wisdom, in one form or another, are passed to drivers as the temperatures change in Pensacola. And it’s true – tire pressure matters, and no one wants a flat tire, but why are they related?
Under-inflated tires change the way the tire hits the road. When you look at a tire straight on, you see the tread. The tire is designed so that the tread hit the road straight on, carrying the weight of your vehicle in the center of the tire.
If you look at a tire from the side, you’ll notice that the edge is much smoother. The tread tapers off leaving a smooth sidewall on most tires. When there is too little air in the tire, part of the edge becomes exposed to the road as you drive.
All of the weight from the vehicle is shifted to the outside edge of the tire. Instead of carrying your vehicle smoothly on the center of the tire, the edge must hold the bulk of the weight.
This change not only affects the way your vehicle feels on the road – more cushion and less control – but can put you at risk for increased wear.
Extra weight at the edges of your tires can result in a rubbed or ripped flat. The thin side wall of your tire can become worn against the road quickly, rubbed down until it “pops” from the pressure. If your tire hits a sharp edge or piece of road debris, it could easily rip on the exposed edge.
The change of shape from the under-inflated tire can also speed up the wear and tear of your tires. When your tires are properly inflated, balanced, and aligned, all four tires will hit the road in the same way for consistent, uniform wear on the tire for the longest life.
Low tire pressure can shift the weight, and the wear, to the edges where bald patches can quickly form. This damage cannot be repaired. Tires that should have lasted much longer need to be replaced prematurely, a large cost over the years.
For the longest lasting and safest tires, check your tire pressure regularly. Give us a call if you have any questions about your vehicle or to schedule your next appointment.