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

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.