The safety of a vehicle does not depend on the presence of seatbelts or airbags. It depends on your tires as well. Tires are the foundation of any vehicle. Without the tire, the vehicle cannot move. Performing basic checks on the tire can get your better fuel economy and improve the handling of the vehicle. The damages to the tires happen mainly because of the improperly inflated tires. This results in wear and tear. Experts such as TyrePlus in their #WheelsOfTheRoad advice suggest that you must check your air pressure at least once in a month in order to have a smooth drive.
Maintaining tire pressure not only prevents the wear and tear of the tire but helps in achieving optimum handling of the vehicle. Tires play a major role when it comes to maneuvering the vehicle. In the case of emergency maneuvering, tires have to be properly inflated. Else, the vehicle goes out of control. It is also important to not make visual judgments. Sometimes, the tires that may seem inflated when viewed, might actually have low pressure resulting in decreased vehicle handling.
Tires without the proper air pressure will result in an increased rolling resistance. This is the friction that occurs when the vehicle rolls. The problem with increased rolling resistance is the requirement of more energy for movement. In this case, the vehicle requires more fuel to move around. This has a drastic effect on the fuel economy. As per the reports by the Department of Energy, well-inflated tires increase the fuel efficiency by 3.3 percentage. However, it is important to ensure the tire isn’t over-inflated as well. Over-inflated tires have reduced contact with the surface resulting in the reduced handling of the vehicle.
Hence, improper inflation puts your tires into excessive stress that has drastic effects on your tires. It could result in excessive or uneven wear. When such things take place, it compromises the performance of the tires. This further results in replacing the tires earlier than expected. This is an added cost for the user. The much bigger problem is that such tires could result in accidents that could be fatal.
Apart from improper tire pressure, check for other problems in your tire. This includes checking for cracks in the tire or the presence of foreign objects like nails or screws embedded in the tires.
How to check your tire pressure
Air pressure gauge is the instrument that is used across the world to check tire pressure. These items are found in all auto stores, gas stations, and even in few departmental stores. The items are inexpensive.
The optimum tire pressure can be found in the owner’s manual of the vehicle. The owner’s manual lists the tire pressure for each of the tire and the number is expressed in psi (pounds per square inch). The owner’s manual will also provide information about the hot and cold pressure of the tires. The hot pressure is when the tires are warm and the cold pressure is when you have driven a few miles. It also has instructions for tire pressure during special occasions. These may vary depending on the number of passengers traveling in your vehicle or when the vehicle is being towed. Please be advised that the tire pressure seen on the tires is the maximum pressure that the tires could handle and not the optimum pressure of the tires.
To check the tire pressure, uncap the stem of the valve and place the gauge over the stem. Ensure the gauge is fitted correctly to get a proper reading. Read the numbers and lines on the gauge to determine your tire pressure. Repeat it a few times to ensure the readings are accurate.
It’s time to set the air pressure to an optimum level. Add or remove the air to set the psi reading properly. To add air to the tires, use the air compressor that is found in all gas stations. To remove the air, use the non-rounded edge of the gauge and press against the valve to release the air.
Repeat the process until the optimum psi levels are reached.
There are other ways to check the pressure levels of the tires. If the vehicles slide towards one side while driving in a straight road, there is a possibility that the tire pressure is low. The case could be especially true if the tires have been aligned recently.
Choosing the right tire
Choosing the right tires also has its own impact on your vehicle. It is important to choose the proper sizes for your vehicle. The information can be found on the owner’s manual. Improper sizes not only have ill-effects on your driving but has serious effects when it comes to safety. It could prove to be fatal.
Having tires that mix and match also have grave problems associated with driving. This results in two pairs of the tires moving differently from another pair of tires. This kills the smoothness of driving and is also a safety-related issue.
What does your personality say about your driving?
According to psychology, your personality says a lot about your driving. There are mainly four types:
Patient and Careful – They are people who plan their trip well in advance and remain calm throughout. Even when something unexpected happens, they have the ability to make clear decisions. They always follow the driving and traffic rules.
Reckless and Careless – They drive for the thrill. They drive to seek excitement and sensation while behind the wheel. They tend to drive at higher speeds than usual.
Anxious – They stay tensed while driving and do not feel relaxed. They even find music or radios to be disturbing to them.
Hostile-angry drivers – Often seen among people, the hostile-angriness appears especially during heavy traffic. This includes frequently honking, overtaking, driving with excessive speed, cursing at the wheel etc.