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Tires Need More Air in Winter: 5 Steps to Checking Your Tire Pressure

Jason Reese

What You Need To Know About Your Vehicle’s Tire Pressure For Safe Winter Driving

When the winter temperatures across the Hoosier state drop, it is a good time to review the recommended tire pressure, or tire pounds per square inch (PSI), for your vehicles. Air contracts as temperatures cool, leaving more room in your tires for air and dropping one to two PSI for every 10 degrees. Most manufacturers suggest pumping up three to five more PSI in the colder months. The higher-pressure recommendation may increase tire stability and reduce your winter crash risk triggered by tire blowouts and the need for a greater stopping distance on slush, snow, and ice filled roads. If you don’t know how to check tire pressure, follow these easy tips from the auto accident attorneys at Wagner Reese.

5 Easy Steps For Checking Your Tire Pressure

Although most vehicles driven today are equipped with an internal Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) used to alert you when tire pressure is too low, systems have been known to fail. So, we think it is good to know how to check tire pressure with a manual gauge by reviewing these steps.

  1. Purchase a tire gauge and keep it in your vehicle for convenience. Consider buying a small notebook that you can use to record the dates you checked and the pressure reading.
  2. Tires heat up as they drive and usually take about a half hour to cool down. The best time to check the pressure is when tires are cold, so check before your first drive of the day.
  3. Next look for the suggested tire pressure for your car. This is often found on a sticker in the driver’s side doorjamb or in the owner’s manual. Take note of different pressure levels for the back tires and the front tires and for different seasons.
  4. With the car turned off and in park, look for the tire’s valve cap. As you unscrew it, be sure to keep it in a spot where you can both easily and quickly locate it again. Your pocket would make a good place for safe-keeping as opposed to losing it in the snow and slush next to your tire.
  5. Lastly, press the tire gauge onto the open valve stem until the gauge stops moving or gets a digital reading. Once you have the pressure, check to see if it reflects the amount needed. If the pressure is too low, fill the tires with air and recheck.

Since you can’t tell if a tire is underinflated just by looking at it, we suggest you make it a habit to check and refill your tires with air at least once a month, more often in the winter or before a winter road-trip. In doing so, your vehicle will be more fuel efficient, your tires will last longer, and your winter accident risk will be greatly reduced.

Become a Better Driver With Wagner Reese

We will continue to write about seasonal driving topics on our blog and share tips on our Facebook page so you can continue to travel crash-free this winter. If you do become injured in a winter-related driving accident, please call us for a free consultation. We won’t collect any fees unless your case is settled or won. You can easily connect by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information to respond promptly.


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