It may not seem that important but tyre pressure plays an important role for both cars and motorcycles. It may seem like a mundane task but it is imperative to maintain optimum tyre pressure for safety and economic benefit.
Low tyre pressure in both car and bikes can affect handling, ride balance and even reduce mileage. Excessive tyre pressure can result in lack of traction or even tyre bursting, which can have a disastrous outcome if you’re travelling fast.
Your cars or bikes optimum tyre pressure is mentioned in the vehicle owner manual. Don’t refer to the sidewall markings on your tires, which in part specify the maximum tire pressure — not the recommended pressure. Make it a habit to check tyre pressure before you head out for a ride or a drive. Don’t just judge by looking at the tyre. Keep a tyre pressure gauge in handy. You can get it in any store of even online for less than Rs. 500. (Analog or digital gauge doesn’t matter as long its good quality)
The reason why we are asking you to keep a tyre pressure gauge is because the tyre heats up when you start running the car/bike. The longer you run, the hotter the tyre gets, expanding the air within, increasing psi. Tyres are black and black absorbs more heat. The tyre pressure may vary as much as 1 psi per 10 degree rise in tyre temperature. Higher temperature means higher psi.
Let us explain how you can actually determine your tyre pressure.
1. Keep your car/bike one a level surface in the shade for a while.
2. Remove the dust caps off the valve.
3. Place the tyre gauge firmly on tyre’s valve stem for a few seconds.
4. Make sure there’s no air leaking out while you press the gauge against the valve.
5. The gauge will display a certain reading, if it’s as per the vehicle owner’s manual then you have nothing to worry about.
6. If it is higher than the recommended psi, press the gauge tip on the valve stem until you hear air leak out. Check the tire pressure again.
7. If it is lower than the recommended limit, you’ll have to fill air.
8. Considering most of us do not have an air pumping system, we will have to drive down to the nearest gas station or tyre care shops.
9. Once you’ve filled air make sure to keep the car in shade there for a while and check again for pressure.
Well if you don’t want to get into the hassle of doing this yourself. Might aswell drive to a tyre care of a gas station early morning or in the night as the ground surface temperature is less. They will help you with the same. And while you’re getting the pressure checked, check your spare as well.
This may sound tiresome but make these steps part of your routine. It will benefit your vehicle and your wallet.