Protyre News


Now the weather has turned colder, now is the time to check your tyre pressures


Recent research by the tyre manufacture, Bridgestone, has found that three-quarters of motorists do not check their tyre treads or pressures themselves – either never thinking about it, leaving it to a garage to do or asking their partners to check instead. But if there is one thing you can do to keep you safe, minimise inconveniences when making that essential trip, or simply keeping an eye on your purse in terms of fuel economy – a quick tyre check is a good investment of 15 minutes of your time.

This is especially true when temperatures drop.

The manual for your vehicle will usually specify the ideal pressure – for cars it is typically around 30 to 35 psi (pounds of force per square inch).  These recommendations are the ideal pressures year-round – but they rarely specify the correct levels for winter and summer, yet the temperature outside does affect your tyre pressure.

Changes in air temperature cause the air inside your tyres to condense – which means there is less space in the tyre.  It is estimated that every 10 degree drop in temperature, will reduce the pressure in your tyres by around 1 PSI.  This may not sound like much, but if you are not in the habit of checking your tyre pressures, this can mean a 15% difference between the ideal pressure in summer months to what you should be driving on in the winter.

Driving on under-inflated tyres is bad news for a number of reasons:

  • Increased fuel consumption – more visits to the fuel station for you

  • Poor performance and grip in road holding and steering around corners

  • Increased stopping distances should you have to stop suddenly – especially in the wet

  • Increased wear of your tyres, meaning they need to be replaced more frequently

  • An increase in the likelihood of punctures

  • Warning lights and messages on your dashboard

  • Warning lights and messages on your dashboard

Increasingly, new vehicles are fitted with Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS for short).  These can warn you on your dashboard if the pressure in your tyres has fallen (typically when the pressures drop by 25%), and you may find that as the tyre warms up while driving, the TPMS warning light may disappear.  This will be because the tyre is generating heat, causing the air inside to expand.  Whilst this may resolve the issue it is still worth checking the pressures, which is best done when the tyre is cool – ideally when it has been parked for at least 3 hours.

So, what should you do now?  At Protyre Autocare we would encourage you to learn how to check your tyre pressures yourself.  To do this, you need to insert a pressure gauge onto the air valve for each your tyres, swiftly and firmly to ensure a strong connection.  If any tyres show a pressure below the recommended level, use an air compressor to inflate them back to the correct reading.  We recommend that you check your tyres once a month – and/or before any long journey – but you might need to check them more often in colder weather.

Failing that, why not book in at your local Protyre Autocare centre for a FREE tyre check.  You can do this online at or by contacting your local centre directly.

About the author

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By Joe Whitlock
Joe is Mechanical Marketing Manager for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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