Over-inflated tires can cause uneven tread wear, which could result in vibration. In addition, over-inflated tires can lead to tread separation, blowouts and loss of steering control. Over-inflation can also cause the tire rim to hit the pavement when you go over bumps or potholes.
Under-inflation of tires can cause irregular wear, vibrations and possible tire failure.
Tires are specifically engineered to work at a certain pressure. This pressure varies from model to model. The recommended tire pressure is found on the sidewall of the tire.
If you under-inflate your tires, it can cause premature wear to the outer edge of the tire and increase heat in both the tire and wheel assembly. This can cause vibration in your vehicle as well as premature failure of your tires, potentially causing damage to surrounding metal components of your car’s wheel assembly.
It’s best to check the tire pressure when they are cold.
You should check the tire pressure when they are cold, meaning you have not driven for at least 3 hours. If it is a hot day you may want to drive around before checking your tire pressure.
Driving on under inflated tires also causes the vehicle to use more gas.
- Tire inflation is not just about tire life and safety. It’s also about vehicle performance and fuel economy. Properly inflated tires help a vehicle accelerate, brake and corner properly; underinflated tires can increase drag and slow you down. This will cause the engine to work harder, meaning increased fuel consumption. This effect is more noticeable with underinflated tires driving at highway speeds, but overinflated tires can also cause problems — especially in the wet or when cornering hard.
- Driving on under inflated tires also causes the vehicle to use more gas because effort must be exerted for pressing down on the road surface in order for it to move forward. The higher the inflation pressure of a tire means that there is less contact area between it and the ground so slightly less friction goes into moving the vehicle
If your tires aren’t properly inflated, you could have problems that are way worse than a minor vibration that you can barely feel.
When your tires are under-inflated, they may not balance properly which could cause vibrations during acceleration, braking and turning. And under-inflation can also lead to uneven wear—which means uneven traction and higher risk of hydroplaning (when your tires lose contact with the road).
And once the tread is worn down too much, it’s time to replace your tires. Under-inflation increases the risk of premature tire failure due to overheating or overloading.
So this is one area in which you don’t want to “feel” things out—you’ll want to make sure that they’re exactly where they need to be.