When the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure

Cold WX Tire Pressure

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - If you had the “low tire pressure” light come on in your car this morning, you were not alone.

“Every time we have any kind of extreme temperature change, hot to cold or cold to hot, several things happen to your car,” said Gary Stewart, the owner of Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive. “The first thing that’s the most prominent and easily recognized is the air pressure tire drops and that pesky light comes on the dash that says low tire pressure.”

That pesky dashboard light came on for many East Texans this morning with the temperature change.

“We’ve been getting a lot of air checks as of late,” said Adam Smalley, the senior assistant manager for Discount Tire. "Every time the temperature drops ten degrees your tire pressure can lose 1-2 PSI, for every ten degrees the temperature does drop. So, we do recommend you come in and see our professionals so we can take a look at your tires to make sure you’re safe.”

Many people lined up at automotive shops today to get their air pressure checked, but if you haven’t yet, the professionals recommend that you do so.

“Obviously, you want your tires to be at the correct air pressure when you drive down the street for several reasons,” said Stewart. “It’s safer; it sticks to the road better when it’s properly inflated and your tires last longer.”

Just make sure you don’t inflate them too much.

“When the temperature drops, the air molecules contract so the air pressure drops,” said Stewart. “The biggest thing you have to be careful of is you don’t want to drive to the station and blow your tires back up because when you drive at 30-50 mph for 10 or 15 minutes, the air gets warm and the pressure increases because the molecules now expand back to the normal size, so now your tire is over-inflated which is equally as bad.”

Stewart recommends not inflating your tires if it’s going to be cool in the morning but quickly warm up in the afternoon, like East Texas often does. But if it’s going to stay cold, he recommends inflating them.

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