What You Should Know About Tire Pressure

Do you find that you are driving under pressure lately? It’s worse for your tires. Potholes, speed bumps, overloaded vehicles, searing summer pavement and traveling long distances all take a toll on your vehicle’s tires. Tires that are properly inflated to their specified pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) save lives, reduce tire wear and increase fuel economy.

Tires play a crucial role in the safety of a vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Adminis-tration, an estimated 23,000 crashes and 535 fatal crashes annually involve blowouts or flat tires.

As the only part of the car that physically touches the ground, tires play a major role in affecting your vehicle’s handling and overall safety. Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and overall longevity of your vehicle. Yet according to a 2005 poll sponsored by “Drive for Life,” 42 percent of drivers check tire pressure rarely, only before a long trip or if noticing that tires are low.

Finding the PSI that’s right for your car can be done in one simple step – though most people look in the wrong place. Your car manufacturer, not the tire manufacturer, is the ultimate authority on your tires’ correct PSI, so no need to crouch down and squint at your tire’s sidewall. The manufacturer’s recommended PSI can typically be found on the inside of the driver’s side doorframe or doorpost or in the owner’s manual. It can also be found on the inside of the glove box door or trunk lid.

Maintaining proper pressure in your tires can and will extend the life of your tires. Remember that a car is not a bike; by simply looking at the tire you cannot tell that it requires more air.

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