Maintaining your tires is one of the most important vehicle safety components, regardless of whether you are driving an SUV, truck, or car. Not only does it ensure your safety, but it also provides the safety of your passengers and other drivers on the road. If your vehicle runs out of gas, you will slowly come to a stop. If an engine doesn’t receive preventative maintenance, it, most likely, will refuse to start. Driving on vehicles with incorrect tire pressure is risky -- disaster could strike at any time and any speed, as it affects how your vehicle responds to steering and braking input. Tires with incorrect pressure aren’t only dangerous, but can also change your vehicle’s gas mileage and overall performance.
When you drive on underinflated tires, the contact patch between your car and the road surface increases, this increased contact patch leads to more friction between the tire and road surface, which results in more wear on the tire and fuel consumption. An underinflated tire can also negatively impact your vehicle’s suspension, steering, and braking performance. For example, when you turn the corner, you expect the car to listen. However, with low tire pressure, your car’s steering won’t be responsive as usual.
It is a common myth that driving on over-inflated tires can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. An over-inflated tire can lead to less friction. Having less contact with the road can negatively impact your vehicle’s performance. Your car won’t steer or brake as it should. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, your vehicle’s tire pressure needs to be right in the middle, not too low and not too high.
Don’t worry, however. Most vehicles have tire pressure warning systems. If this system is illuminated on your dashboard, we recommend heading over to the South Park Tire & Auto Center team. We will make sure your vehicle’s tire pressure is at the proper level. Schedule an appointment at South Park Tire & Auto with our technicians, and we will make sure your vehicle is ready for the back-to-school season. We are conveniently located at 8081 South Broadway, Littleton, CO 80122.