Are you over inflating your car tyres?

We’ve all dealt with a flat tyre. We know that driving on deflated or flat tyres is dangerous. Not only does it put us and other drivers at risk, but it damages the integrity of the tyre itself. But did you know that overinflating your car tyres can be just as dangerous? Here’s how you can find the right tyre pressure for your vehicle and make sure that you’re not putting yourself —or others— in danger! 

How do you over inflate your tyres? 

Well, sometimes it’s simply a matter of getting distracted whilst you’re inflating your tyres. You put a little too much air into your tyres and now they’re overinflated. Or, you might have been told that driving on overinflated tyres can increase your car’s performance. The former can be fixed pretty easily. Unfortunately, the latter is untrue and can be incredibly dangerous to you and your vehicle. 

What happens if you’re overinflating your car tyres? 

Overinflating tyres is a major concern for a variety of reasons. The integrity of our tyres, your car’s performance, and your safety are at risk when you fail to inflate your tyres correctly. Here are some of the risks: 

Your safety is compromised. 

Over-inflating your tyres can put you in a lot of danger. The greatest concern here is that overinflated tyres are more prone to blowouts. A blowout usually causes the driver to lose control of their vehicle and makes it harder to brake effectively. Also, your car’s safety features are designed to be the most effective when all of the car’s specs are at their optimum level. For example, your anti-lock braking system (ABS) is designed to work best when your tyres are filled to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Your tyres become damaged and worn. 

If you’re overinflating your tyres, you might wear them down quickly and cause a lot of damage. If your tyres are filled to the max, they won’t be as flexible and might sustain more damage if you hit a pothole, for example. Then you’ll need to contact your friendly Milton mechanic for much more expensive repairs! 

Also, overinflated tyres have a distorted shape; the centre of the tyre bulges out and therefore sustains a lot more wear than the rest of the tyre. There’s another concern regarding this distorted shape: a bulging tyre reduces the surface area of the tyre and reduces the necessary traction between your car and the road. 

How do I fix my overinflated tyres?  

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix your tyre pressure if you suspect you’ve overinflated them. Start the process when your tyres are cold, which means they haven’t been driven on for more than a few hours. This is because temperature affects tyre pressure - attempting to inflate or deflate your tyres whilst they’re warm will give you an inaccurate reading. 

Step 1: Locate the valve stem on each of your tyres. Twist the cap until it comes off, revealing a metal pin. 

Step 2: Pick up the tyre pressure tool and look at the back of it. You should see a small nipple - this is for releasing tyre pressure. Use this nipple to push down on the metal pin. Air will start to come out. 

Step 3: Check your tyre pressure regularly to make sure you’ve let out enough air. Continue to check your tyre pressure regularly throughout the lifespan of your tyres to make sure they’re properly inflated. Don’t forget the spare! 

Some cars have systems that monitor your tyre pressure constantly. You should get an alert when they are under inflated. 

What if I want to go 4x4ing? 

We know that some off-road and 4x4 adventures require specific tyre pressure. If you love to go on off-road adventures and crave the thrill of a rough, rocky and muddy terrains, we’ve got you covered. Check out this recent article about suitable 4x4 tyre pressures, posted by Practical Motoring. You’ll find loads of info about tyre pressure for on-road and off-road conditions. You can also chat to your favourite mechanic in Brisbane for tailored advice... 

What is the correct tyre pressure for my car? 

 Every vehicle has a recommended tyre pressure for the best performance. The correct PSI for your car is listed in several places, including: in the owner’s manual; on a label on the driver’s side door, in the glove compartment, or inside the fuel door. You can usually find the tyre pressure online, too, if you search for your car make and model. 

If your tyres are only a few PSI over the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle, you probably won’t be causing a lot of damage. Tyre pressure usually goes up and down based on temperature, so some fluctuation is expected. 

What if I’m still not sure?

If you don’t feel confident about the state of your tyre pressure, simply stop by your trusted Milton mechanic and the helpful team at Pearson Automotive will give you the best advice. 

We’re dedicated to giving you the best advice for your car and how to care for it. You might feel that tyre pressure is “too small” of an issue, but we know that small issues lead to much bigger problems. We’re happy to help you out with any concerns you have. Just ask! 

Posted in Latest Posts on Feb 15, 2021.