Road safety tips: Maintaining correct car tyre pressure levels

Contrary to what many people think, correct car tyre pressure levels are not determined by the type of tyre you have or the size of tyre. The correct car tyre pressure is determined by a vehicle’s load and speed or driving application. You can find out what your car tyre pressure should be by checking your car manufacturer’s manual that is usually found inside the glove box, filler cap, driver’s door sill or under the bonnet. As a motorist, it is absolutely crucial that you to maintain correct tyre pressure levels.

Why it is crucial to maintain correct tyre pressure

Maintaining the correct car tyre pressure is not only crucial to the longevity of your tyres, but also to your personal safety and the safety of other road users. Cars that have incorrect tyre pressure have decreased road grip, which results in increased car breaking distance. Incorrect tyre pressure also increases the likelihood of damage to not only your car tyres, but also your wheels.

Moreover, your car tyre pressure levels can have a direct impact on the environment. If you drive with under-inflated tyres, you create more rolling resistance which in turn leads to more fuel consumption and consequently more emissions. Maintaining correct tyre pressure levels, however, minimises impact on the environment and also saves you fuel costs.

Tips for maintaining correct tyre pressure

Most vehicles have different tyre pressure recommendations for front and back tyres. The manufacturer’s manual will indicate the car maker’s recommended pressure levels. There are, however, general tips and guidelines that can ensure you maintain correct pressure levels at all times.

1. Perform regular tyre pressure checks

Perform regular tyre pressure checks at least once in a month. Pay particular attention to pressure levels when you vary your car’s usual load and just before you go on road trips. Wait until tyres are 'cold' to check for pressure levels, which ideally means when the car has been driven for less than two miles.

2. Check for tyre damages

When checking your pressure levels, also check for visible tyre damages such as tyre bulges, slashes, cuts and tread wear. Remember to also examine the spare tyre in the boot.

3. Change pressures when the car is fully loaded

Consult your vehicle’s manual to get your correct car tyre pressure levels and change the pressure when the car is fully loaded. For example, change the pressure when your whole family is in the car ready to go on a family holiday trip. If you are uncertain about anything, don't hesitate to talk to a qualified staff at your local car repair garage or even the attendant in charge of the tyre pressure gauge at your local petrol station. These tips enhance road safety.

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