Having adequate air pressure is needed if you want your tires to work to their full capabilities. The outdoor temperature affects the air pressure of the tires. Hotter weather means that air molecules move faster and farther away from each other, thus inflating the tire pressure.
So what is the difference between cold tire pressure and hot tire pressure? Cold tire pressure has the potential to under-inflate the tires, while hot tire pressure raises the pressure, which has the potential to overinflate the tires. Hot tire pressure can be 4-6 psi higher than cold and during winter, the frigid temperature causes tire pressure to decrease because it makes the air molecules inside the tire stick together and move slowly.
On the other hand, colder temperature makes the air molecules huddle together and move slower. This will then make the tire pressure drop. As a car driver, you should all about this so that you will have a slight background on the cold tire pressure and the hot tire pressure.
Maintaining the recommended tire pressure for optimum tire performance and avoiding accidents and damages is essential.
In addition, knowing about these things can help car owners determine what to do during the change of seasons.
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What Is The Difference Between Cold And Hot Tire Pressure?
Cold tire pressure has the potential to under-inflate the tires, while hot tire pressure raises the pressure, which has the potential to overinflate the tires. Hot tire pressure can be 4-6 psi higher than cold.
Tire Pressure In Summer Vs. Winter
Changes in outdoor temperature affect tire pressure. For example, during winter, the frigid temperature causes tire pressure to decrease because it makes the air molecules inside the tire stick together and move slowly.
However, summer is technically hot, and the air molecules inside the tire move faster, bump into each other more and expand, causing the tire pressure to increase. In a nutshell, tire pressure in summer is higher than lower tire pressure in winter.
How Much Psi Do Tires Increase When Hot?
Tire pressures rise at about 2% for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature. Tires of standard-pressured and light-duty vehicles such as cars, vans, and light trucks are typically inflated to 30-50 psi.
The tire pressure of such vehicles changes by about one psi per 10-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature. On the other hand, heavy-duty recreational vehicles, buses, and trucks, typically inflated to 80-100 PSI, will increase by about two psi.
Should You Inflate Tires Cold Or Hot?
You need to inflate the tires adequately based on the recommended psi during cold or winter seasons since tire pressure decreases during the cold. Using a car with underinflated tires during the cold can cause increased friction, difficulty in controlling the steering wheel, and it can cause more wear to your tires.
On the other hand, you do not need to inflate your tires in hot seasons unless you need to. Check your tire pressure using the tire pressure gauge in the morning before driving. It is also important to remember that parking your car under direct sunlight or on hot pavement can influence tire pressure.
When the tires get too hot, it may lead to blowout because of the hot molecules causing expansion, the friction of your tires rubbing the asphalt road, and the rubber that makes up the tire may reach its breaking point. Always check your tire pressure and its recommended pressure.
What Is Recommended Cold Tire Pressure?
Have your tire manufacturer manual handy for optimal winter tire pressure to find out the manufacturer’s recommended cold tire pressure. If you don’t have the manual, try calling a trustworthy car repair shop or looking for an online manual version. Some car models also have stickers with the recommended tire pressure placed inside the car.
Tire manufacturers usually recommend tires during the cold season to be 3 to 5 psi higher than the recommended pressure during summer and other seasons to maintain the stability and responsiveness of the tires.
Some obvious signs of underinflated tires include a shakier steering wheel when driving, physically looking flatter than usual, and it taking longer for them to stop when you step on the brakes.
In addition, driving with low tire pressure increases the likelihood of a collision, especially during colder temperatures when the roads are more slippery than usual. Thus, it is essential to check the recommended air pressure of your tire before adding more pressure during the cold season.
Do Tires Lose Pressure In The Cold?
Yes, tire pressure lowers in the cold. The drop of temperature during the colder seasons makes the air molecules stick together and slow down. This will result in a drop in air pressure and a possible underinflated tire.
When you have a low tire pressure during the cold seasons, you need to add air to the tires to avoid problems such as premature wear, inadequate gas mileage, and other handling issues, but this doesn’t mean that you need to add beyond what’s recommended by the tire manufacturer. Make sure that you’ll add an adequate amount of air to your tire.
Do Tires Lose Pressure In Hot Weather?
No, tires don’t lose pressure in hot weather. However, when the weather is hot, the air molecules in the tire are warmer, and they tend to move around faster than usual and bump into each other more.
This scenario can raise the tire pressure, and it is even possible to rise to an overinflated level. Furthermore, excessive heat can cause the tired to expand and blow out.
Should You Overinflate Tires In Winter?
It is never a good idea to overinflate tires, especially during winter. An overinflated tire has a minor contact patch, thus reducing traction.
In addition, the roads during winter are more slippery and require you to do whatever you need to do to get every bit of traction. This increases the possibility of excessive and uneven tread wear.
Tire pressure changes depending on the outdoor temperature. It is always a good idea to check your tire’s recommended air pressure and ensure that your tires aren’t overinflated or underinflated.
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