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When is your Tire Pressure considered to be Low?

  • Safety Tips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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The recommended tire pressure for the most modern car is approximately 35 pounds per square inch (PSI). However, some cars demand slightly reduced or increased pressure. Most manufacturers affix a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb with the correct PSI regardless of your car’s requirements. If there is no sticker, the owner’s manual should include the inflation rates.

The recommended tire pressure is always determined at a cold tire temperature. In addition, it is suggested that tires are always inflated to the closest value provided by the car manufacturer. However, most cars are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. This system warns drivers if the pressure drops 10% below the specified PSI.

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What Tire Pressure is deemed Low?

The lowest tire pressure you may drive on is 20 psi. This is in fact not recommended. A flat tire is defined as a tire with a pressure of less than 20 psi. Driving on a flat tire will cause harm to your car. You should inflate your tires if they are this low. Tire pressures should be between 32 and 35 pounds per square inch.

A ten-degree temperature change will result in a one-psi change in tire pressure.¬†That’s fine! Even though 28 psi is less than the necessary pressure, it will not harm your vehicle. As soon as you begin driving, friction warms your tires, increasing the pressure.

Technically, any PSI below the recommended number is too low. However, most consider a variance of more than ten percent to be too low. For a car requiring tire inflation to 35 PSI, a reading of 31 or 32 PSI is considered underinflated. Some manufacturers let up to twenty-five percent air loss before activating the TPMS light.

What happens if You have Low Tire Pressure?

What happens if You have Low Tire Pressure?

Low tire pressure is a very regular occurrence, but it is also one of the most dangerous. As a result, two very dangerous consequences may ensue.

Unexpected Loss of Control

Low tire pressure affects a vehicle’s handling and steering, as previously stated, and terrible weather conditions can exacerbate these concerns. When a car’s tires are under-inflated, a sudden loss of control can occur. In addition, any loss of traction when traveling at high speeds can result in an accident, even if no indicators of rough handling were apparent previously.¬†

Several accidents occur each year as a result of low pressure.

Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts are the most dangerous complication of low pressure. Low tire pressure and the car’s weight and large tire loads might cause one or more tire parts to break unexpectedly. However, most blowouts occur without notice, so they can be fatal.

It’s critical to remain calm if your car experiences a blowout.¬†To avoid an accident, grip the steering wheel hard, apply the throttle briefly to resettle and realign the vehicle, then pull to the side of the road and let it gradually slow down on its own. Next, slowly apply the brake to bring the vehicle to a complete stop once it has slowed to about 20-30 miles per hour.

Factors that affect Tire Pressure

In addition to a nail or other object puncturing a tire, the two most typical factors affecting tire pressure are a gradual leak and air temperature. A slow leak is comparable to a hole or a tire puncture, but unlike a puncture, which can lead to a completely flat tire in a short period, a slow leak is typically far more protracted.

Air temperature is the most common factor that affects tire pressure. When air is heated, it expands. Cooling causes contraction. Manufacturers and mechanics advocate inflating your tires when they are cool. 

Signs of Low Tire Pressure

Signs of Low Tire Pressure

The instrument cluster’s low tire pressure warning light is the most evident indicator that one or more of your tires have insufficient air pressure. In 2008, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) were compulsory for all new cars, making it more difficult to find a car without one.

However, not all pre-2008 cars were equipped with TPMS, and there are currently many cars on the road without TPMS. If your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, the flat tire indicator will illuminate when the ignition is turned on.

Fuel Economy

Like kicking an inflated and deflated ball, tires can cause a car’s engine to work more to propel it forward. Underinflated tires could result in a loss of up to three miles per gallon. This will likely occur if more than one tire is underinflated at the same time.

Tire Wear

Premature tire wear is another indicator. Instead of consistent tread across the tire, an underinflated tire will have a thinner tread on the sides and thicker in the center.

Steering and Driving Feel

Especially if you have had your car for a long and are familiar with how it drives, steering and driving sensation are the most obvious methods to identify whether your pressure is too low. Cars are designed to behave in a particular manner under optimum conditions, and low tire pressure severely affects these characteristics. 

Low tire pressure may cause sloppy handling, tugging to one side, difficulties maintaining a straight course, inability to steer precisely, and an overall unsettling ride.

Roadside Assistance from Way Plus

Check your tire pressure at least once a month. It’s another thing to add to your to-do list, but taking a few minutes to check your tire pressure will lengthen the life of your tires, improve your gas mileage, improve the performance of your car, and safeguard your safety and the safety of other drivers!

It is worthwhile.

Do you know what else is worthwhile to do? Having access to 24-hour roadside help in the event of a blowout on the side of the road. It only takes one phone call.

This is just one of the numerous benefits of the Way Plus plan. Getting a Way Plus plan WILL save you hundreds of dollars in costly repairs like engine or transmission failure. Visit way.com/way-plus to obtain a free, immediate quotation with no phone call required to see how affordable it can be to safeguard your car and get 24/7 roadside assistance to protect your car from breakdowns.

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