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Tire Pressure Drops in Cold Weather

It’s cold, you go out turn your car on to heat it up and a light turns on. The tire pressure drops and the light is letting you know one or all of your tires have low pressure.

Every time the temperature drops 10 degrees, the air pressure drops 2 pounds per square inch. Cold weather causes the air inside the tire to contract more than warmer weather. The colder it is the denser the air becomes. This then affects how the tire rolls which then affects the fuel economy.

Low tire pressure should be the first thought when you see the TPMS light up on your dashboard. You can then check it with the programmable digital tire gauge. If the tire pressure is the same in all four tires then it is the cold that dropped the pressure. If it’s only one tire or one tire drastically lost pressure it might have been punctured. In that case, the tire repair kit comes into play. There’s also the possibility that the wheel has some corrosion or oxidation and that can lead to slow air leaks where the tire and the rim meet.

Since 2008, all new vehicles required a tire pressure monitor system (TPMS). Here are some tips on how to keep the system from going off.

Tire Pressure Tips

  • To find the recommended PSI and other tire specifications for your car:
    • Near the driver’s side door jamb for a sticker.
    • The inside of the gas panel.
    • Inside the glove box.
  • Take the proper tire pressure of a car when the tires are “cold.”
    • Tires have been idle for a few hours.
    • Tires haven’t been in the sun.
    • Measure off the temperature outside.

tire pressure drops

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