Having the correct inflation pressure in your vehicle’s tyres not only optimises the performance but also increases your personal safety when driving.
As a guide you should check your tyre pressures at least once a month, and before long journeys. Ignoring this advice runs the risk of decreasing your grip and increasing your braking distances. You could also damage your tyres reduce their lifespan and increase your fuel consumption.
The recommended tyre pressure levels for front and rear tyres are often different. If you’re not sure what your tyre pressures should be, or even how to check tyre pressure, why not spend a couple of minutes reading the following article? It could save you more than the cost of replacing a tyre.
When did you last check your tyres?
When was the last time you checked the pressure of your tyres? Not sure?
You’ve just answered why so many people drive with dangerously under inflated tyres. Checking your tyre pressure is inexpensive and simple. Yet why do so many of us fail to weigh up the costs of ignoring this vital procedure? Driving with incorrect tyre pressures can affect a vehicle’s handling, and can seriously compromise safety—leading to incidents that can put lives at risk.
If your tyres are over or under inflated enough to be considered un-roadworthy, reading this article could save you a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.
Not sure of the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle or where to find them?
The correct pressures for your vehicle can normally be found in your owner's manual. The information may also be marked on the vehicle (for example on the driver’s door pillar, or on the inside of the petrol flap). In most cases, two different sets of pressures are given:
• For 'normal' driving conditions.
• For a loaded vehicle (with extra people or heavy items on board).
To check your tyre inflation pressures you will need a tyre pressure gauge or use the gauge on the inflation equipment found at most garages and petrol stations.
See below how tyre pressures can affect safety: ENDURANCE
Driving on under-inflated tyres reduces their endurance capabilities, leading to deterioration that could even result in a rapid deflation.7 psi (0.5 bar) or more under inflated = DANGERROAD HOLDING
With under- inflated tyres, the vehicle's steering is less precise.
If a bend can be taken at 62 mph (100 km/h) at a tyre pressure of 29 psi (2.0 bar), this speed drops to 54 mph (87 km/h) at 15 psi (1.0 bar), or about 8 mph (13 km/h) less.Lower pressures = worse road holdingAQUAPLANING
If tyre pressures are 30% below the recommended pressure there is a sharp increase in the risk of aquaplaning.Lower pressures = higher risk of aquaplaningBRAKING
In addition, tests show that braking distances from 56 mph (90 km/h) to 43 mph (70 km/h) are 40 metres at 29 psi (2.0 bar) but 45 metres at 15 psi (1.0 bar), that's 5m longer.15 psi (1.0 bar) under inflation = 5m longer braking distance
Tyres under inflated by 15 psi (1 bar) have increased rolling resistance leading to around 6% greater fuel consumption.
FILL UP WITH AIR CAMPAIGN
Every year, Michelin goes out on the road with a series of tyre pressure events called 'Fill Up With Air'. The campaign offers motorists free tyre pressure checks with the aim to help drivers keep their tyres at the correct pressure.
The “Fill Up With Air” campaign is one way that Michelin can reinforce their commitment to road safety, help tyres ‘live’ longer, reduce running costs and environmental impact. In the summer of 2010, the campaign helped almost 5,000 drivers save fuel and reduce CO2
Yet, the results from these annual campaigns make for sober reading. In short, motorists pay little attention to their tyre pressures.
Recent results showed that:
• An alarming three quarters of UK drivers were running on under inflated tyres.*
• Three per cent of cars checked in the UK were running with a punctured tyre.*
• More than 50% of drivers had tyres that were classified as dangerously under-inflated* (7 psi or more below the recommended pressure)