For many German luxury car drivers, the first time you might think about your vehicle’s tire pressure is on that first cold day of Autumn. Why? That’s usually the day when BMW and Mercedes-Benz Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) systems alert you to lower than average tire pressure. As the air temperatures drop in the Fall, cold air causes an unusually large drop in tire pressure and triggers your vehicle’s diagnostic system.
Does this mean your tires’ are actually under-inflated, or is this simply a system glitch?Well, the simple answer is: check your tire pressure anyway. Driving on improperly inflated tires is unsafe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any given time, about 1/3 of all passenger vehicles on the road are driving on under-inflated tires. In fact, in 2017, it estimates there were 738 fatalities from tire-related accidents.
What are some of the problems with improper tire inflation?Not only safety concerns, but tire inflation can also affect tire wear, fuel economy, and the comfort of your vehicle’s ride. Here are some of the drawbacks of under and overinflated tires.
- Higher operating temperatures causing faster tire wear
- More contact with the road surface causes lower gas mileage
- High temperatures can cause in tread separation or a tire blowout
- Tires bulge in the center causing uneven tire wear
- Higher likelihood of a puncture or blowout
- Passengers will feel every bump or crack in the road surface