Tire Pressure- A Chilling Effect

Your TPMS is a reliable way to be sure your tires are properly inflated, but there is something you should know about cold temperatures and tire pressure.

Today’s vehicles are equipped with amazing onboard technology. These features are extremely helpful for proper vehicle maintenance and heading off expensive auto repairs. Among these advanced systems is the integrated tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).  While your vehicle’s TPMS is a reliable way to make sure you are driving on properly inflated tires, there is something you should know about cold temperatures and tire pressure. Seeing the TPMS light more often in winter is not unusual, but it is also not something you should ignore.

Let’s begin with a look at how your TPMS works. The system uses sensor technology to alert drivers when tire pressure in one of the tires drops below a predetermined level. If the pressure in one or more of your tires dips below that level, the light comes on.

Air pressure decreases as a result of extremely low temperatures. For this reason, you may see the TPMS light illuminate with more regularity. Tire specialists say that air pressure in a tire goes down 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change. This means you shouldn’t be surprised if you see the TPMS light come on during cold snaps. However, it is still important that you manually check the air pressure of your tires, to make sure you don’t have an issue with any of your tires.

Driving on underinflated tires in the winter can lead to:

  • Poor vehicle handle
  • Tires wearing out much faster
  • Overheated tires, which could result in a blowout
  • Reduced gas mileage and increased fuel expense

Be sure to check the pressure of your tires at least once a month. To get the most accurate tire pressure level reading, wait until tires have cooled – about 30 minutes after parking. If you have any concerns about the condition of your tires, just ask us! We’re happy to help!

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