Your tire pressure light is on. But your tires look fine. When does your tire pressure get too low to drive?
When you started your car the other morning to head to work, your tire pressure light came on. That’s not unusual this time of year as temperatures drop and the air inside tires cools and contracts. But the light remains on and has you wondering whether you should top off your tires with a shot or two of air, or if you can simply drive on tires with low pressure. If so, how low is low? When does a tire’s low pressure become too dangerous to drive on?
Auto warranty company Protect My Car has this to say: “The longer you leave your low tire pressure, the more you set yourself up for a litany of problems including lower gas mileage all the way to a potentially catastrophic blowout! … Checking your tire pressure and keeping your tires properly inflated is a chore, but it is much easier than dealing with the consequences of under-inflated tires. Low tire pressure can negatively affect handling, tire wear, fuel economy, and most importantly, safety.
“Low tire pressure can also cause a car to be less responsive and have less traction, making it more difficult to avoid emergency situations (think switching lanes last minute in traffic or dodging a pothole). Less traction also means that your car’s engine will have to work harder and use more gas than it needs to. ”
As for how low is too low, Protect My Car offers this advice: “If you have standard passenger tires (90 percent of vehicles do) the lowest tire pressure you can generally drive with is 20 pounds per square inch (PSI). Anything under 20 PSI is considered a flat tire, and puts you at risk for a potentially devastating blowout.”
So what’s a driver to do when the TPMS light comes on? Well, check – or have someone else check – your tire pressure. If it’s way too low, you need to get the tire fixed before you drive. If it’s still got enough air, you should go get the air topped off before you drive too many more miles. And, you might want to get the tire(s) checked to make sure the problem is the cooler weather and not a slow leak or other issue.
If you don’t have an auto care and tire care specialist you can trust in the Wichita area, it’s time to become acquainted with the Wichita tire care and auto care technicians at Tracy’s Automotive.
While you’re at Tracy’s Automotive, check into our specials, like free road hazard protection on a set of four tires.
While you’re at Tracy’s Automotive, be sure to sign up for our giveaway of a $150 gift card and a Weber Spirit II E-210 gas grill. The Weber Spirit II E-210 is a two-burner grill that’s built to fit small spaces, and packed with features such as the powerful GS4 grilling system, iGrill capability, and convenient side tables for placing serving trays.
Once you fall in love with the Spirit II E-210, fill out a form. We’ll be giving away one $150 gift card and one grill at each of our locations in November. No purchase necessary but you must enter at one of our service centers. Stay tuned for more details or ask one of the auto pros when you visit one of our service centers.
Tracy’s Automotive is here to help you. If you don’t have time or feel you can take your car to the shop, Tracy’s Automotive will pick it up at your home or work. Then, after your car is serviced or repaired, Tracy’s Automotive will bring it back to you thoroughly cleaned.
Tracy’s passion for a better tire buying, auto care and auto repair experience drove us to develop the model of Tracy’s Automotive Tire Pros. Tracy’s has turned hard work and inspiration into a booming tire and auto repair provider. Now Tracy’s has three locations and serves customers all over Wichita and Goddard. Tracy’s is thrilled to be a part of your family’s trusted brands for all auto repair and tire needs.
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