Tire Pressure

Mechanic adjusting the tire pressure
Most people ignore their tires, yet tires are undoubtedly a critical safety component on a vehicle. Where the rubber meets the road affects traction, handling, steering, stability and braking. Because of this, a sudden tire failure can have serious consequences, especially if it occurs when operating at high speeds.

Why Newer Vehicles Are Equipped With tire pressure monitoring system

In 2000, Congress passed the Tread Act in direct response to nation-wide tire recalls. The Tread Act spelled out a number of provisions related to tire safety, the most significant of which is the requirement that all new vehicles less than 10,000 GVW come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system warns the driver when one or more tires are significantly under inflated.

What is the Effect of Under Inflation?

  • 20% under inflation
    Reduces tire life by 20% (Michelin). Reduces fuel economy by 10% (Goodyear).
  • 25% under inflation
    Reduces tire’s load carrying capacity by 20%.
  • 40% under inflation
    Reduces braking distance by 10%. (Michelin).

Under inflated tires is the leading cause of tire failure.

Under inflation is involved in 20% of flat tire / blowout cases that result in a crash.

An estimated 23,000 accidents and 535 fatal accidents annually involve blowouts or flat tires.

Maintaining proper tire air pressure is not only a major safety concern, but can also affect the handling and performance of your vehicle.

Why is it more expensive and time consuming to have tires serviced rather than rotated?

Technicians use special diagnostic tools to test and recalibrate sensors any time a tire is moved from one location on the vehicle to another. A sensor must be tested to make sure it is functioning correctly and also must be reprogrammed whenever tires are moved from one position to another during rotation. OEMs recommend a sensor service kit be installed every time a tire is serviced. These kits include replacement parts to properly service the sensor. Sensors are powered by a battery that usually has a life of 6 to 8 years. The sensor has to be replaced when the battery fails because the batteries are not replaceable.
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