At LOF-Xpress™ we recognize that, just like people, every vehicle is different. Each car has its own personality and set of specifications that it must operate within, for optimal performance. Ideal tire pressure is just one element that varies from vehicle to vehicle. Because tires can be easily inflated, many car owners elect to inflate their tires themselves, which can result in over or under inflation. And others may forget to regulate the tire pressure entirely.
As a result of several fatal accidents during the mid-1990s, involving Ford Explorers and Firestone tires, Congress passed the TREAD Act. The TREAD Act is a law that is designed to help consumers with tire labeling, warranties, recalls and proper tire disposal. However, the main component of this law is the Mandatory Tire Pressure Monitoring System. This is a system that monitors tire pressure and will trigger a warning light if tires drop below a preset inflation threshold. This systems is only triggered if a tire or tires are more than 25-30% over or under inflated. So, if your tire is 20% low or high on air, the Mandatory Tire Pressure Monitoring System is not triggered, and that is enough to result in substantial premature tire wear, as well as decreased fuel economy.
Maintaining ideal tire pressure for your specific vehicle is vital for its proper operation and management. Having tires that are not inflated properly can result in damage to your car, and more importantly, can increase your chances of having an accident. For these reasons it is important that you check your tires at least once a month while they are cold to ensure that they are neither over nor under inflated.
The proper tire pressure for your vehicle can most often be found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jam. The pressure marked on the sticker is the pressure that you should use. You should never use the pressure that is posted on the tire itself, because that pressure is the maximum pressure that the tire is designed to run. Since tires may fit several models of vehicles that weigh different amounts, engineers have calculated the optimum pressure that your tires should run and this is what is posted in the vehicle’s owner’s manual and on the door jam.
Here’s a quick word from Christian, one of our LOF-Xpress™ trained technicians, on the effects that low tire pressure can have on your vehicle.
If you have questions about tire pressure, or would like to have your tires inflated properly, be sure to stop by one of our two convenient locations in Ankeny or Ames.