In the month of December, Scottsdale high temperatures dropped nearly 20 degrees within a week. Cold weather is known to cause a decrease in air pressure (for example Deflategate and Tom Brady). Air pressure in a tire typically drops 1 to 2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature. Here are 4 risks you take when you drive with underinflated tires:
As soon as you take to the road on underinflated tires, you’ll be feeling some pocketbook pain at the pump. According to Cars.com, a drop of 6 psi can make a sedan’s fuel economy drop by 5 percent. That can mean sacrificing a couple miles per gallon, which will add up quickly during any commute.
Driving on low tire pressure in cold weather can cause your tires to wear and tear very quickly. This can spell immediate trouble if you’re normally hauling heavy cargo, too. If the tires are severely underinflated – any pressure 20 psi under the suggested amount – you may experience a blowout sooner rather than later.
Blowouts mean paying more to get the tires replaced, or getting into an even more dangerous situation. After all, it’s not the easiest to control a vehicle that suffers a popped tire at highway speeds.
Underinflated tires cause performance issues, the most dangerous of which is increased stopping distance. On underinflated tires, you may roll a few extra feet after slamming on the brakes. In an emergency, every inch matters, and those extra feet could mean nicking a bumper or getting into a worse accident. Now just mix in cold weather tire pressure and you have a potential recipe for a scary drive.
Even if your tires don’t blow out, having too little air in them will cause them to break down quicker. Cars.com explained that underinflation will cause greater wear on the treads toward the sides of the tire. In the case of a Honda Accord the source used as an example, a drop in 6 psi would cause the tires to degrade roughly 25 percent faster.
Before you drive off to holiday parties or out of town to visit family make sure you have Tech Plus Automotive check your tires and vehicle to ensure a safe trip.