All Puffed Up!
Are Your Tires All Puffed Up?
Having the correct tire inflation can be a tricky business. Overinflating a tire dramatically reduces its contact patch. Under inflation increases its contact patch which increases rolling resistance. And fluctuations in temperature can cause the tire tread patch to change, resulting in irregular tire wear and changes in traction.
It’s the air inside the tire that supports the load, not the tire itself. Charles’s Law states that as temperatures decrease, so does the volume of air inside the tire. This decrease causes a pressure drop, which means the tire cannot support as much weight. Every 10-degree change in air temperature changes tire inflation pressure by 1-2 psi (down with lower and up with higher temperatures).
Maximum tire inflation pressure can be found stamped onto the tire’s sidewall. Rims will also have a maximum (not to exceed) inflation rating as well. Adjust tire pressure for your operating conditions to ensure safe driving and maximum fuel saving conditions.