Is your car tire pressure changing with temperature? During the season change, fluctuation of temperature is common. As a result, you will face a varying level of PSI. Ever wondered why tire pressure change with temperature?
There is a relation between the temperature changes and PSI shifts. Over inflation of the tire happens during higher temperatures. On the other hand, lower temperatures cause underinflation. In this case, adjusting the tire pressure is crucial according to the current temperature changes. Otherwise, unwanted accidents may occur.
In this comprehensive guide, I shared the reasons for tire pressure shifting with the weather. Also, signs of overinflated or underinflated tires at different temperatures and solutions to the problem. Continue reading!
Why does Tire Pressure Change with Temperature?
The air molecules inside the tire stick closer and move slowly during winter. They also take up less physical space. Thus, tire pressure remains low. Your vehicle’s TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) triggers when the temperature goes down under sub-freezing.
On the other hand, air molecules move faster, expand more quickly, and take up more space inside the tire. As a result, vehicle tires heat up. Sometimes, it causes an increase in tire pressure.
Here the relationship between the PSI changes and temperature is as below,
- Higher Temperatures = Overinflation and higher pressure
- Lower Temperatures = Underinflation and lower pressure
Your car tire pressure will be affected by the below reasons,
- Sun exposure
- Ambient temperature
- Tire temperature
What is the Recommended Tire Pressure?
The recommended tire pressure depends on a few factors: car type and size of the tire. Maintaining the correct tire pressure is crucial for the driver and passenger safety.
For most vehicles, recommended tire pressure is labeled on a card or sticker inside the driver’s door. If it is unavailable there, read the owner’s manual.
Generally, the ideal tire pressure is 32 – 40 psi when the tires are cold. Ensure to check the tire pressure early in the morning or after an extended stay.
How Tire Pressure Affects During Summer?
Undoubtedly, tire pressure change during summer is a safety threat. Such things can increase the chance of tire blowout in the worst scenarios. If your tires are over-inflated because of higher temperatures, the added friction of rolling and navigating rough terrains may result in a flat tire. Don’t be late to take necessary actions if you experience the below signs.
- Uneven wear and tear of the treads. Look at the center and edge of the tires. Is the center wear down faster compared to the edges? If yes, most probably, you have an over-inflated tire.
- Did your TPMS turn on after driving for 10-20 minutes? Friction between the tire and the road increases significantly when you drive your car with higher tire pressure. In this case, checking the tire pressure is a must.
So, what is the solution to such incidents?
All you need to do is release some air from the tire. You can do it by following the below steps.
- Step 01: Identify the affected tire. Remove the valve stem cap from it.
- Step 02: Get a small tool to help press down the valve pin. This way, air will release quickly.
- Step 03: It would be best if you do it incrementally. At the same time, check the tire pressure periodically. Make sure not to release too much air.
- Step 04: Reinstall the cap of the valve stem. Monitor the tire pressure visually during hot days.
How Tire Pressure Affects During Winter?
Ever experienced low tire pressure in the early mornings during winter? This is a typical case in the freezing months. Your car will fail to roll efficiently because of low tire pressure. In this scenario, taking further action is mandatory. However, an under-flattened tire shows the below symptoms.
- I turned on TPMS. Generally, roadway friction is enough to increase the tire pressure when you drive for an extended period. But if you see the TPMS blinking even after driving for a long time, be sure the tire pressure is low.
- Is one of your car tires visibly flattened? Most probably, tire pressure is damn low, causing flat tires.
- Are you hearing road noise a lot nowadays while driving? Low tire pressure can increase road noise and drag since your vehicle weight gets imbalanced on the tires.
No worries! Solutions to the problem are incredibly straightforward.
Try adding more air to your vehicle tires. Then check whether the problem is solved. If the issue continues, tire pressure is probably low due to puncture or natural leakage. In such situations, it is better to contact a pro. Then, let them inspect the tires and get them repaired.
related questions (FAQs)
The amount of pressure increase or decrease can differ based on a few factors, including your driving style, carrying load, and outside temperature.
Generally, tire pressure increases or decreases by up to 1 PSI for every 10-degree F increase or decrease in temperature. For example, if you inflate your tires at 35 PSI while the outside temperature is 50 degrees and the outside temperature increases to 80 degrees, your tire pressure will increase by 3 PSI.
Tire pressure can easily be checked using a tire pressure gauge. You will find 3 options in the market: dial pressure gauge, sticky-type pressure gauge, and digital pressure gauge. Each type has its distinctive features. Choose the one that meets your budget and requirements.
Yes, cold weather can turn the pressure lights on. You will notice a turned-on or blinking/flashing TPMS light when the PSI levels are lower, and the temperature suddenly changes. Bringing the tire pressure to normal will help you sort out the issue.
Acknowledging the significant relationship of tire pressure change with temperature is crucial. The fluctuations in temperature can cause tire pressure to rise or fall, potentially compromising safety and vehicle performance.
To maintain optimal tire pressure, regular monitoring and adjustments are crucial. By understanding how temperature affects tire pressure, you can take proactive measures. It will ensure your vehicle tires are properly inflated.
Regular inspections, particularly during extreme weather conditions, are vital to mitigate risks associated with improper tire pressure.
Remember, maintaining the correct tire pressure with temperature changes is key to enhancing safety, extending tire lifespan, and optimizing fuel efficiency.
WCCO – CBS Minnesota
Certification: BSc in Mechanical Engineering
Education: Mechanical engineer
Lives In: 539 W Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
Rasel is an auto mechanic student and writer with over half a decade of experience in the automotive field. He has worked with top automotive brands such as Lexus, Quantum, and also owns two automotive blogs autocarneed.com and taxiwiz.com.