Why is tyre pressure so important?
Of all the hundreds of components in a car, the only ones that are always in contact with the ground are the tyres. The way a car's tyres touch the ground has a big influence on fuel consumption, tyre life and driving safety. For these reasons, the car's tyre pressure should always be kept within the standard parameters.
If the tyre pressure is out of range, several problems can occur. The most obvious problem is often incorrect tyre wear, which reduces tyre life. If the car's tyre pressure is too high, the tyres tend to wear more in the centre of the tread. Conversely, if the tyre pressure is too low, the tyres tend to "sink in" and wear more on the sides of the tread.
In addition to increased tyre wear, incorrect tyre pressure makes the car dangerous to drive. If the tyres do not make proper contact with the road surface, the car can lose control more easily.
Making sure yourcar's tyre pressure is always correct is not a joke, but a good practice to save money and be safer.
What unit of measurement is used for car tire pressure?
Before we go into more details about car tire pressure, it is useful to know what the unit of measurement oftire pressure is. It is the bar, which is a unit of measurement in the centimeter second system. The term bar comes from the Greek βαρύς which means "heavy".
The instrument used to measure the pressure of car tyres is the"pressure gauge" which, in fact, always shows an increasing scale of bars, usually from 0 to 60.
What is the "standard" for tyre pressure?
As we will see later in this article, there is no standard pressure for car tyres. We can say that normally tyre pressure is between 1.8 and 2.2 bar.
These values are purely generic indications or average values. The specific tyre pressure of each vehicle is indicated in the respective owner's manual or in the automatic tyre pressure table.
The same tyre pressure of a car model can vary depending on the engine installed in the vehicle. The bigger and heavier the engine, the higher the car's tyre pressure will have to be to counteract and support the increased weight.
So let's not set a standard tyre pressure, but remember to check what pressure is suitable for each vehicle. This should be kept in mind especially in case you have multiple cars.
How often do you check the tyre pressure of your car?
As with standard car tyre pressure, there is no definite indication of when to check tyre pressure. Tyre pressure decreases with increasing mileage and depending on the type of road you drive on. A bumpy road causes the car's tyre pressure to drop faster than the tarmac of a perfectly smooth motorway.
In general, it is useful to measure your car's tyre pressure at least once a month. This indication may be more or less sufficient depending on your use of the car. Those who use the car every day for many kilometres may need to measure the tyre pressure every two weeks. Those who use the car for a few kilometres every two months.
Our advice is still to check the tyre pressure of your car at least once a month. As soon as you go to the gas station to refuel, it only takes you 5 minutes to do a check as simple and quick as it is important.
Where do I find the optimum tyre pressure for my car?
The best indication of the optimum tyre pressure for your car is on the car itself. This indication is usually found in two places:
- On a plate mounted on the pillar of the car on the driver's side.
- Inside the car's owner's manual, which is almost always in the glove compartment in front of the passenger seat.
This optimal indication of the car's tire pressure is often called a "Tire Pressure Chart". So let's see what the tire pressure chart is and how to decipher it.
What is the tire pressure chart?
The tyre pressure chart is nothing but a graphical representation of the optimum tyre pressure of our car. It contains all the details you need to know about your car's tire pressure.
Let's see what details we find in the tyre pressure chart:
- The optimum tyre pressure of thecar tyres in bar for normal and full load.
- Engine power in kW and motorisation
- The typeof tyre fitted
The car model, engine power and type of tyre fitted have a great influence on the tyre pressure. Therefore, you should always consider the exact tyre pressure of your car.
What is the difference between front and rear car tyre pressure?
Once you have determined the correct tire pressure for your car, you need to consider another factor. Some cars require the front tire pressure to be higher than the rear.
This difference is due to the fact that almost all modern cars have the engine positioned at the front and therefore the weights are very unbalanced towards the front of the car.
To compensate for this weight imbalance, it may be necessary to inflate the front wheels more than the front tyres. The difference is quite slight, usually 0.2 or 0.3 bar, but it must be respected.
What is the tyre pressure warning light?
Among the many car warning lights on the dashboard there is a specific one related to the car's tyre pressure. This light almost always appears yellow or orange. Tire pressure graphically represents the section of a flat, sunken tire. However, it reminds many people of an exclamation point between two brackets with "teeth".
The tyre pressure warning light comes on if the tyre pressure drops below the minimum level. This drop may be due to a puncture or, in most cases, a low level due to forgetting to inflate the tyres.
This light should only be a last resort, as checking the car's tyre pressure is the driver's responsibility and should be carried out regularly.