WHY THE CORRECT TYRE PRESSURE IS IMPORTANT
Even the best drivers turn into idiots sometimes. I'm not even what you could call the best driver in the world, but I recently found the drive in my runabout car more than just a little mushy. A check of the tyre pressures found that I was a whole ten psi down on optimum pressure which wasn't just bad for performance, but was downright dangerous! One bump against a kerb can really hit your tyre pressures, and that's probably the case with my Nissan.
But why is the correct tyre pressure important on your car or motorcycle? We asked a few experts, and the results were startling.
The number on reason is that your tyres are design to operate at a certain shape. If you're under pressure, or massively over pressure, the shape of your tyre changes and you risk wearing it out quicker.
Tyre experts told us that tyre life can be significantly reduced by not driving at the right pressure, and you should be in the habit of checking every couple of weeks. Not months, or before a long journey – weeks.
We all know it's a pain having to wait for the air pump at the petrol station (especially if somebody's occupying the space to go shopping), so invest in a reasonably accurate test kit so you can spend a couple of minutes checking the pressures before you start in the morning. Checking "hot" isn't a good idea – tyres heat up when they've been running all day and could give a false reading.
Car performance is also a significant factor. As I found out, deflated tyres really make a difference with your handling. A bit of damp on the road, and my runabout was all over the place, and really struggling with cornering. You're also chewing up more petrol, with the significant fuel costs that goes with it. Even driving in a straight line, the increased footprint on the road means more resistance, which means more fuel needed to maintain your speed. You might as well roll down your windows and throw five pound notes to passers-by.
So: Consult your car's manual and find the correct tyre pressure, especially if you're carrying heavy loads. Think safety, fuel economy and environment and keep those tyres inflated!