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Old 11-05-2007, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default The Benefits of Correct Air Pressure

as excerted from Discount Tire Co. website

Keeping the correct air pressure in your tires is as important as giving your engine a tune up. The economic benefits are perhaps even greater! With the right amount of air pressure, your tires wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling and prevent accidents. If you consider the liabilities of not maintaining the correct air pressure -- poor gas mileage, loss of tire life, bad handling (perhaps even loss of control), and potential vehicle overloading -- then the need to routinely add air to your tires will become clearer.

Check Air Pressure Routinely
Perhaps because our tires do so much without seeming to need any attention, we tend to overlook this important task. But tires do lose pressure, slowly but surely everyday, through the process of permeation. Generally, a tire will lose one or two pounds of air per month in cool weather and even more in warmer weather. Also, tires are subjected to flexing and impacts that can diminish air pressure. So, think in terms of refilling your tire just like you do your gas tank; actually that's a good reminder, refill your tires every other time you fill up at the gas station. That's the recommended interval. Another time to check air pressure is when the tires are rotated. Many vehicles have different tire pressures on the front and rear axle, so remember to have this adjustment made. Also remember to have the pressure in your spare checked. The space- saver type spare requires a much higher air pressure level than other tires and is virtually useless (due to overloading) at lower air pressure levels.

Where To Find Air Pressure Information
The correct air pressure may be found in the vehicle owner's manual or on the tire placard (attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door or fuel door). The placard tells you the maximum vehicle load, the cold tire pressures and the tire size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If you have trouble, see a local tire dealer for assistance; check our directory for the nearest Discount Tire or America's Tire store.

Another valuable resource is the Tire Load/Inflation Tables. Your nearby tire dealer should have a copy. Not only will this document tell you the correct tire pressure for stock sizes, but it will provide the information on optional plus sizes as well. A good example would be the findings on a Honda Civic with the stock size 185/65R-14; recommended air pressure is 28 psi. Plus one size is 195/55R-15 with a recommended air pressure of 32 psi. Plus two size is 205/45R-16 with a recommended air pressure of 36 psi. Note how the air pressure increases with plus sizing to meet the load carrying capacity for the car.

Other Factors Change Air Pressure
Besides the routine air check, other circumstances necessitate a visit to the air pump. Seasonal changes or altitude changes create a rise or drop in air pressure (for every 10 degrees change in temperature, tire air pressures changes 1 psi). But perhaps the most overlooked factor is vehicle loading for trucks and RVs. Since these vehicles can be configured and loaded in many ways, the proper inflation pressure should be determined by actual tire loads. This is best determined by weighing the vehicle; vehicle loading can change from trip to trip.

Remember that tire failure can occur due to under inflation and overloading!

One of the most dangerous conditions that can exist is the slow leak. Sometimes a small nail, screw or other object will puncture a tire and then act as an inefficient plug. Air pressure drops slowly over a matter of hours or days, undetected by the driver. Your best defense in this circumstance is to be alert to the symptoms of this. Be aware of any pulling or vibration that seems unnatural. And listen for any tick- ticking sound -- especially audible at slow, parking lot speeds. If you detect this, get off the road and inspect the tires on the side of the pull, vibration or sound. A bulging sidewall and/or excessively hot tire indicates a slow leak. Put on your spare tire and have your tire dealer repair the punctured unit. Ask the repair technician if any sidewall damage has occurred (a powdery residue inside the tire indicates this condition). If so, have the tire replaced.

How To Check Air Pressure
Properly checking tire pressure requires an accurate air gauge. Many people believe that they can check air pressure just by looking at the tire and judging the sidewall appearance. Also, many people use the air meters at service stations, which can be grossly inaccurate due to exposure or abuse. Invest in a quality air gauge. For trucks and RVs, use a dual-head inflation gauge that is calibrated up to 120 psi at 2 psi increments.

When checking your vehicle's tire pressure, make sure the tires are "cold". Cold air pressure means that the vehicle has not yet been driven one mile (remember that driving on a tire increases its temperature and air pressure). If you must drive more than one mile for air, check and record the air pressure in all your tires before you leave. Once at the tire dealer, measure each tire's inflation again and then note the difference. Inflate the tires with low pressure to a level that is equal to the recommended cold pressure plus the difference at the higher temperature.

Finally, after completing the pressure check, make sure the valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps to keep out dirt and moisture. Remember to replace the valve assembly when you replace the tire; it's your best assurance against a sudden or consistent loss of air pressure.
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Old 11-21-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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JK... that's great information... and how true it is!

I had a blowout on my right/rear tire a few weeks ago. The tires were 2 yrs old had about 5k miles on them... however, I made the mistake of not replacing the valve stems when I mounted the tires (I mounted them myself at work). Any decent shop would have changed the valve stems.

Long story short, the valve stem eventually tore and deflated my tire completely... on the freeway... in the rain. I'm just glad we were safe. I always checked for tire pressure and uneven tire wear... but... PLEASE check the rubber valve stems too! You can test by wobbling them. They should be flexible but firm.. not soft or dried.
Lesson learned~
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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In fact, the economic benefits may be even greater. That interval will let you check your tire pressure consistently to maintain recommended air pressure.The purpose of this document is to persuade the company to post it on our net site, to better tell the public of the benefits of checking and keeping the right air pressure in tires.

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Old 07-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #4
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This is generally good information to have. I usually think about tire pressure solely in terms of miles per gallon or saving money. But rarely do I relate tire pressure to performance or in regard to maintaining a healthly vehicle. And I've never adjusted my tire pressure when taking a trip to the mountains before. Now, I'll be sure to take the appropriate action in the future.
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