Did your Tire Pressure Light come on this morning? Ours did. Here’s what’s happening: Most cars made in and after 2000 have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System installed. This system triggers your Tire Pressure Light whenever it senses that your vehicle’s tire pressure drops a few PSI below the recommended tire PSI. Back in our “End of Summer” blog post, we talked briefly about how changes in temperature can affect your tires. For every 10 degree drop in the temperature outside, your tires lose one (1) PSI and vice-versa.
In Michigan, the transition between fall and winter means some serious swings in temperature. It can get as cold as 30 degrees at night only to reach the low 50s by lunch! So let’s say you last adjusted your tire pressure during the day when the outside temperature was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the temperature drops to 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Despite having just adjusted your tire pressure, that 30 degree drop equals a 3 PSI decrease in your tire pressure!
If your Tire Pressure Light does come on, don’t worry! All you have to do is check your tire pressure and adjust it as needed. This can be done at home, at a gas station, or at your local mechanic. Should you choose to have a mechanic adjust your tire pressure, remember to tell them that your light turned on in the morning when it was cold. Your tire pressure may slightly increase on the drive in due to heating up from friction, and it might also increase from sitting in the sun all day. However, this is a false increase and you should still properly adjust your tire pressure to the correct levels as soon as possible. Underinflated tires negatively affect your vehicle’s performance. Tire pressure affects your car’s traction, stability, and fuel economy!
Did you check and adjust your tire pressure, but the Tire Pressure Light is still on? Do you have questions about how to properly check and adjust your tire pressure? Our team at AA Muffler and Brakes is here to help! Bring your car in and we’ll adjust the pressure for you and answer any questions you have. We can also reset your Tire Pressure Light in just a few minutes.