Believe it or not, driving with too little air in your tires can be risky for more than just your well-being. It can jeopardize other parts of your car and even wreak havoc on your budget without compromising any of your hardware.
Luckily, inflating your tires is quick and simple with a tire gauge, an air pump and a little time. Make sure you’re consulting your owner’s manual to find the exact pressure. By keeping the amount of air at this level, you’ll be dodging a lot of these road troubles.
1. Reduced fuel economy
As soon as you take to the road on underinflated tires, you’ll be feeling some pocketbook pain at the pump. According to Cars.com, a drop of 6 psi can make a sedan’s fuel economy drop by 5 percent. That can mean sacrificing a couple miles per gallon, which will add up quickly during any commute.
2. Easier tire blowouts
You won’t be kicking yourself at the pump if you get a flat before filling up again, though. Popular Mechanics noted that underinflating your tires is the easiest way to kill them. The inner pieces of the tire don’t function well without the correct air pressure. This can spell immediate trouble if you’re normally hauling heavy cargo, too. If the tires are severely underinflated – any pressure 20 psi under the suggested amount – you may experience a blowout sooner rather than later.
Blowouts mean paying more to get the tires replaced, or getting into an even more dangerous situation. After all, it’s not the easiest to control a vehicle that suffers a popped tire at highway speeds.
3. Greater stopping distance
The reason owner’s manuals suggest such precise tire pressures is because the equipment is made to have the highest contact with the pavement and greatest efficiency at that level. Underinflated tires cause performance issues, the most dangerous of which is increased stopping distance. On underinflated tires, you may roll a few extra feet after slamming on the brakes. In an emergency, every inch matters, and those extra feet could mean nicking a bumper or getting into a worse accident.
“A 6 psi drop can cause tires to degrade 25 percent faster.”
4. Increased tire wear and tear
Even if your tires don’t blow out, having too little air in them will cause them to break down quicker. Cars.com explained that underinflation will cause greater wear on the treads toward the sides of the tire. In the case of a Honda Accord the source used as an example, a drop in 6 psi would cause the tires to degrade roughly 25 percent faster.
Keep your tires inflated at appropriate levels to lengthen the lifespan of your equipment and keep some extra cash in your pocket.
Don’t let deflated tires stand between you and a care-free road trip. Especially with used cars, maintenance and extra care is critical for safe, cost-effective driving. For all your budget friendly, secure driving needs, visit New Jersey State Auto Used Cars.