In order to stay safe out on the road this winter, you need to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Cold weather can cause your tires to more easily lose pressure. During the cold winter months, it is important that you check your tire pressure frequently. Properly inflated tires provide you with better traction when you drive and prevent your tires from failing.
Cold Weather Causes Your Tire Pressure To Drop
Air molecules tend to contract when it gets colder outside. For your tires, that means it is easier for your tires to lose pressure during colder months. As the temperature outside drops, your tire pressure drops as well. That is why you need to check your tire pressure more frequently in the winter.
When To Check Your Tire Pressure
The best time to check your tire pressure is before you start driving to get the most accurate reading. The reading will change once your tires have warmed up, and the manufacture recommended PSI is based on measuring your tires before they are warm. You should keep your tires inflated to the pounds per square inch, or PSI, that is recommended in your vehicle's owner manual.
You can purchase a tire pressure gauge so you can check your own tire pressure. During the winter, you should check your tire pressure at least once a week. You will need to remove the cap from your tire, and stick the value over the opening. The measuring stick will shoot out and show you how much pressure is in your tire.
If the reading is below the PSI recommended by your vehicle's owner manual, you need to head to your local gas station to use the air.
How To Fill Up Your Tires
Most gas stations have an air pump for your tires. Sometimes, these pumps are free, and other times, you need to insert a quarter or two to get them to work. Make sure you have your tire pressure gauge measuring tool handy before you get started.
You will have to unscrew the cap from each tire, and then stick the air hose over the opening. Many air hoses have a build in tire pressure gauge so you can see when you have reached the recommended PSI. However, if the pump you are using does not have its own gauge, just add a little bit of air at a time and use your own gauge to measure the tire pressure.
If you overfill your tires, there should be directions on the pump that let you know how to remove air from your tires. Generally, you just have to hold the handle in the opposite direction that you used to fill up your tires. Remember to put the cap back on your tires once you are done filling them up.
Ideally, you should check your tire pressure once a week during the winter months. Fill your tires with extra air as needed. Do not overfill your tires; this could cause a blowout. Just try to keep them right at or near the manufacturer's recommended PSI level.
Be sure to check the tire pressure of your spare as well; that way, if you need to use it, you know that it is ready to go. If you're looking for a tire shop, go to sites like this one.