Under Pressure: Tires

Winter weather affects your car in lots of costly and frustrating ways. Obviously, cold temperatures make it more difficult to start your car. Your car’s battery can be negatively impacted by the cold weather and the stress it places on that battery to fire up each time you start your car. There’s another issue that cold weather can cause, and it doesn’t get as much thought or attention as it should–your tire pressure.

Temperature changes–heat and cold–cause changes to the tire pressure for your car’s tires. Hot weather causes your tires to expand. In fact, for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature, your car’s tires to increase by 1-2 pounds of pressure. In the winter, it’s the opposite. In the winter, cold temperatures cause your tires to lose PSI. In the winter, you can expect your tires to lose one PSI per a 10-degree drop in temperature. In St. Louis, that drop can be pretty steep.

Make sure you check your tires’ PSI regularly, especially when there’s a big drop or increase in temperatures. Driving on underinflated or overinflated tires not only reduces tread life, but it also affects your safety. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and check for treadwear. Drive safely.