Maintaining the performance of your tires requires a routine of checking their air pressure. This step is essential especially if you frequently drive through the highway.
The right tire pressure lets you enjoy a comfortable and safe ride with efficient fuel economy.
Here’s everything you need to know about the recommended tire pressure for highway driving.
How Tire Pressure Affects Your Driving
Before we dive into the details, here’s a complete breakdown of how tire pressure can impact your driving.
Tire pressure can drastically affect the performance of your vehicle. But more than that, it is also an essential component that makes the safety features of your car effective.
For instance, did you know that under-inflated tires can result in increased braking distance and poor handling?
Similarly, over-inflated tires are vulnerable to tire blowouts which is dangerous for the occupants of the car and nearby bystanders.
Proper tire pressure helps you avoid these issues. It also allows you to properly maintain both the shape as well as the internal structure of the tire.
You’ll also be able to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the tread and the sidewalls of your tire.
That’s not all! The right tire pressure is essential for providing our car with better stability and traction, especially during the rainy season.
How Much Air Should You Put In Your Tires?
Things would have been much easier if all the tires had one single standard pressure requirement. However, that’s far from reality.
Each tire comes with a recommended air pressure that can be found in the vehicle’s manual or written on the tire sidewall by the tire manufacturer.
Your tire air pressure should always be as per the mentioned limit given by the manufacturer for optimal performance. You can check the pressure through a tire pressure gauge.
What Is The Recommended Tire Pressure For Driving On Highway?
While there’s no specific tire pressure required for highway driving, most tire manufacturers recommended pressure between 30 – 35 PSI.
You need to note that the number may vary depending on the size of your vehicle and the type of tire that you’re using.
In either case, you’ll be able to find the maximum pressure capacity of your tire on its sidewall. Always follow the instructions given regarding recommended tire pressure to avoid any potential tire blowout.
What Tire Pressure Is Too High Or Too Low?
As mentioned, the maximum and minimum tire pressure depend entirely on the type of tire that you’re using.
Just remember these general guidelines: Tire pressure is too high if it goes beyond the maximum pressure written on the tire sidewall.
On the other hand, the pressure is too low if it goes below the manufacturer’s recommended level.
The best course of action that you can take is to regularly check the pressure in your tires.
Can Tire Pressure Increase While Driving?
The short answer is yes. Tire pressure can easily increase as you drive. This increase is mostly caused by the friction and heat generated between the tire and the road.
High-speed driving generates enough heat that it can cause the air inside a tire to expand.
The effect isn’t permanent. Once the tire cools down, the pressure returns back to its former levels. You can wait in the morning to check the pressure and get an accurate reading.
Is A Higher Tire Pressure Better For Speed?
There’s a common misunderstanding that over-inflated tires can deliver better handling and a much faster speed.
However, that is simply not the case. Higher tire pressure can negatively impact both the speed and the performance of the tire.
While many vehicle owners believe this common myth, the reality is that over-inflated tires have far less grip on the road compared to properly inflated wheels.
That’s because the high tire pressure makes it difficult for tires to gain traction and remain stable.
The speed and comfort of the car ride both depend on the overall stability of the tires. The less stable the wheels, the harsher the ride you can expect.
Higher tire pressure also leaves the tire vulnerable to blowouts.
If you’re driving at a high speed and the blowout occurs, you’ll end up putting yourself at serious risk as it would be extremely challenging to control the vehicle.
Signs That Your Tires Might Be Underinflated
Under-inflated tires are easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for.
Still, regularly checking the pressure through a tire pressure gauge as well as physically inspecting the tires allows you to quickly identify the signs of under-inflated tires.
The following are some signs that can indicate low tire pressure.
- Low-Pressure Indicator: This feature isn’t available in all vehicles, but several cars come integrated with a tire pressure checker. If the pressure is low, you’ll be able to see a warning light on the dashboard.
- Uneven Tire Wear: This is the most obvious sign that the air pressure is low. Under-inflated tires have a tendency to wear faster on the sides and the edges.
- Decreasing Fuel Economy: Low air pressure in your tires can drastically increase the rolling resistance of your wheels. This results in reduced fuel efficiency. If you find yourself using more fuel for your home or office, under-inflated tires might be the cause.
- Decrease Ride comfort: Even if you don’t physically check the tires, under-inflated tires can be identified through a decreased performance of the vehicle. The most obvious issues that you’ll face are poor handling and a rougher ride.
Signs That Your Tires Might Be Overinflated
On the other hand, over-inflated tires might be easier to miss with an untrained eye.
The following are some signs that you should always be on the lookout for.
- Uncomfortable Driving Experience: Over-inflated tires are stiff and rigid. You’ll probably have a difficult time driving and moving the car.
- Treadwear: An over-inflated tire expedites the wear and tear of your tire. It puts an additional burden on the center of the tread and eventually reduces the tire life.
- Traction: As mentioned above, over-inflated tires are unable to grip the road properly due to less traction.
- Poor Handling and Stability: Over-inflated tires are known to decrease the stability of your vehicle. Poor handling also makes it difficult to control the vehicle and overall, increases the possibility of an accident.
Final Thoughts: How You Can Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Maintaining the proper tire is easier than you think. All you have to do is regularly check your tires and make adjustments as needed. Checking your tire pressure once a month is the recommended approach.
While taking these steps might seem like a hassle, they’re necessary.
You have to be proactive when it comes to the maintenance of your vehicle to ensure optimal performance and safety.