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Maintaining your tyres at their recommended pressures can help to extend their life, reduce running costs and improve your safety on the road. If you drive on over or under inflated tyres they are at risk of becoming damaged and could potentially jeopardise your safety.
When tyres are over inflated, the contact patch of the tyre is reduced and this can lead to a loss of traction and increased braking distances. They also wear more easily, so tyre life is reduced quicker. Over inflated tyres cannot absorb road shocks as well as correctly inflated tyres, which means that they are more likely to be damaged due to general wear and tear.
Under inflated tyres also have a negative effect on your road safety and driving performance. This is because under inflated tyres cannot maintain full and even contact with the road, reducing your gripping capabilities and affecting steering control. In addition, when you drive on under inflated tyres they are likely to become overheated and this will cause them to wear more rapidly.
Maintaining your tyres at their correct pressures is an easy job that should be undertaken every three to four weeks or before long journeys.
Filling Up Your Tyres
Firstly, you will need to find the recommended pressure that your tyres should be inflated to. This will usually be located on the door frame on the driver’s side, on the inside of the petrol door flap, or in the vehicle handbook. The handbook will also contain information about adjusting your tyre pressures if you are carrying a heavier load than usual.
Once you know the recommended tyre pressures for your vehicle, you should visit a local service station that has the facilities to check and adjust tyre pressure. When your tyres are cold, unscrew the valve stem cap located on the tyre and attach the air pressure gauge. You can then record the reading given, top up with air if necessary before re-fitting the valve stem cap.
Take a look at this video from TyreSafe for further guidance on maintaining your tyre pressure.