Tire pressure is not something that most vehicle owners think about, but it is an important factor in your car's performance. While you can tell if your tires are inflated above or below their recommended level by heading to an air pump at a gas station and comparing the reading to the recommended readings printed on the sidewall of your tire, there are also some other warning signs you should watch out for. Being aware of the complications that come with both high and low tire pressure can help you understand why you should make checking your tire air pressure a central part of your car maintenance schedule.
High Tire Pressure
Tire pressure that is above the recommended levels can cause all sorts of complications for your vehicle. First of all, tires that are overinflated are at a much greater risk of being punctured or blowing out, which can result in a collision or accident if it occurs while you are driving. You can tell if you are driving with overinflated tires because the middle part of your tires' treads will be more worn down than the outside. Further, overinflated tires are more likely to experience reduced grip with the road, as only the middle part of the tread will be in contact with the pavement, which can mean that your vehicle may be more likely to skid while taking sharp corners or while driving in poor weather conditions.
Low Tire Pressure
Low tire pressure, on the other hand, can still represent a substantial risk to your tires' structural integrity. Low air pressure in your tires means that they are less able to maintain their shape, leading to more of the tread coming into contact with the road. This leads to a faster wear rate and will mean that you will have to replace your tires sooner. Furthermore, more tread contact with the road can decrease the overall performance of your vehicle, decreasing your car's acceleration and top speed and making it harder for you to react to traffic conditions. Low tire pressure will also drastically reduce the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, increasing your fuel costs. You'll be able to tell if your tires are suffering from low tire pressure by visually inspecting them, as they will have a less defined shape that comes into contact with the ground underneath your vehicle at all points of the tread.
Visit a tire shop for more information.