Checking the pressure of your car’s tires: how and why?

Optimizing the performance and safety of a vehicle goes through regular and appropriate tire pressure checks.

Simple and quick, this operation can be carried out by the owner himself, provided he knows the right techniques and the main recommendations. Zoom.

Why should you regularly check the tire pressure of your car?

According to recent surveys, 2/3 of French motorists use under-inflated tires. However, this practice has many negative consequences. An under-inflated tire is the first cause of a loss of grip. In terms of driving, cornering lacks precision. In addition, it leads to what is called aquaplaning, a phenomenon during which the tire slips which makes it difficult to manage traction and control the direction.

According to numerous mechanical tests carried out, under-inflation tends to complicate braking. Improperly inflated tires would take 10 meters longer to come to a stop than correctly inflated tires. But that’s not all ! The life of the tire is also reduced. In addition, the vehicle becomes particularly fuel-intensive. For example, for a delta going beyond 1 bar, the vehicle can lose up to a full tank of gasoline in the space of a year.

Finally, the risk of tire bursting should also be seriously considered. The stresses can be so strong that the carcass would not resist and would end up degrading the whole tire.

Tire pressure tips

Most motorists tend to over-inflate their tires to guard against the phenomenon of under-inflation. This is a mistake that should not be made. This practice is potentially dangerous because the wheel only rolls on the central area of ​​the tread. The tire is not in proper contact with the ground and has grip problems, resulting in poor handling. Steering management becomes complicated, not to mention the braking, which loses efficiency. Over-inflated tires are also responsible for the rapid wear of suspension and steering parts and damage very quickly.

If the tires are inadvertently over-inflated, do not attempt to deflate them. Leave them as they are, you’ll do the right upgrade later when they’re cold.

In winter, always make sure to add +0.2 bar to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Indeed, the cold has an impact on the pressure in the tire. In the context of a journey on the motorway, the additional pressure to be added is +0.3 bar.

How to check tire pressure step by step

Before starting, first find out the recommended pressure for your tyre. In principle, this information is visible on a label located inside the fuel filler flap or in the opening of the driver’s door. Otherwise, it will, in all cases, be mentioned in the vehicle’s on-board manual. This pressure differs according to the number of passengers, the load as well as the rear and front tires.

Also very important: the check is carried out when the vehicle is cold, that is to say when the vehicle has covered less than 3 km at moderate speed or when it has not been driven for at least two hours. If this is not the case, the check will therefore be carried out when hot and in this context, the tire will have to be over-inflated by +0.3 bar compared to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Now that everything is clear, it’s time to move on to the verification step itself.

The first action is to remove the valve cap. This is usually located on the outer edge of the rim. Because of the hubcap, it may be difficult to access. Once this is done, insert the indicator, making sure to press hard enough. If you hear a hiss or noise, it indicates that the device has been connected incorrectly. On the other hand, if it has been correctly positioned, the digital display or the stem of the indicator will show the level of air pressure in the tires. If this does not correspond to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it will be necessary to add air by pressing the corresponding button on the compressor.

By following all these precautions and recommendations, you will be assured of safety and peace of mind on the road. Do not forget to also check the tires of your spare wheel at least once a year because in the event of a puncture, what is the point of having a deflated spare tire?

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