Why You Need to Air Your Tires More in Winter

November 11th, 2018 by

Winter tire driving on snow

Anyone who lives in or around Springfield, Missouri knows how cold things get in the winter. You might have also noticed that your tire pressure warning pops up on your dash more than it does the rest of the year. This is especially true when the weather starts to vary, with one day being brutally cold and the next being fairly mild. Why do these changes and drops in temperature affect your tire pressure? Thompson Sales can explain.

What Is PSI?

PSI stands for “pounds per square inch” and is the unit of measurement for the pressure in your tires. The ideal PSI for your car will depend on different factors, so check your owner’s manual or the sticker inside the driver’s side door. You can check the pressure with a tire pressure gauge. If the PSI is above the recommended number, let some air out until it matches. If it’s below, you’ll need to pump air in.

How Cold Affects the Air in Your Tires

So, why is this a problem in cold weather? If you were paying attention in your high school physics lessons, you might remember that lower temperatures cause air to contract. This means the pressure in your tires is likely to drop. Most cars will warn you with a light on your dash if one or more of your tires have dropped below a certain level of pressure. If not, you should regularly use a tire pressure gauge to check them during periods of deep cold. Pressure in your tires will drop 1-2 PSI every 10 degrees that the temperature drops below average.

How to Refill Your Tires

You can refill your tires in a number of ways. Using a simple foot pump is effective, but takes time and a lot of physical effort. You can also get an automatic air compressor which is a lot faster, although they can range in price. You can also just visit a gas station and use their standing pump. Thompson Sales suggests investing in a budget-friendly tire pump that can fit in your trunk. Not only is it useful to have generally, but it can be extremely helpful in an emergency. When you refill your tires, be careful not to overfill them and go over the recommended PSI.

Talk to Thompson Sales About Your New Car

Looking for a new or pre-owned car, truck, or SUV? Visit our used car dealership in Springfield, MO today. Thompson Sales has been offering the best in new and used vehicles for decades, and we’re dedicated to providing you with the absolute best in friendly, helpful customer service. Contact the car sales team today.

Posted in Car Maintenance