Winter weather driving in Chicago is challenging in more ways than one.
Our car’s tires have to contend with ice, wind, snow, and potholes to get from point A to point B safely.
But did you know that the general drop in temperature also plays a part in tire safety and maintenance? If you haven’t checked your tire pressure since the weather was warm and sunny, you could soon be riding on severely underinflated tires without realizing it.
A car, truck, or SUV’s tire pressure will decrease about 1 psi (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the outside air temperature drops.
It also increases 1 psi for 10 degrees it rises. An 80-degree beautiful summer day, compared to a 10-degree frigid winter morning could result in drop of 7 psi in tire pressure – that’s a big deal.
Underinflated Tires Are Hazardous
Underinflation is a tire’s worst enemy. A NHTSA study of tire inflation pressure and tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) showed that 12 percent of all passenger vehicles in the United States of model years 2004-2011 (with and without TPMS) have at least one tire underinflated by at least 25 percent.
Underinflation causes unnecessary tread-wear on the outside edges of the tire and can reduce the fuel economy of the vehicle as soft tires make the vehicle work much harder.
Underinflated tires also lead to sluggish handling, longer stopping distances, increased stress to tire components, and heat buildup. These in turn can lead to catastrophic failure of the tire, such as separation or blowout.
Don’t Ignore Your Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor
A tire pressure monitor sensor/light (TPMS) became standard in all cars sold after 2007 and your car’s tire pressure monitor system triggers this warning light to illuminate on your dash when the air in your tires drops just below the recommended tire psi. Don’t ignore this light, or you may end up on the side of the road with a flat. And in blustery, cold Chicago, nobody wants that.
When your TPMS sensor/light turns on, don’t panic. Most likely, a simple check or adjustment of the air is your tires is all you need. You can do this at a local gas station or mechanic, like Milito’s Auto Repair. In most vehicles, your TPMS light will turn off once the tires are properly inflated.
Don’t let Chicago winter driving get you down – Milito’s can help!
If you need help checking your tire’s air pressure, filling up, or that pesky TPMS light just won’t turn off no matter how much air is in your tires, stop by Milito’s Auto Repair shop.
We have experienced auto technician’s standing by 7 days a week and ready to help at a moment’s notice. Offering fast tire repair services and quality new and used tires in Chicago, we have what it takes to get the job done and get you back on the road quickly and safely.