Why are my tires deflating in the cold weather?
It's not your imagination, cold weather can (and does) affect tire pressure. Here's a closer look at why.
Air contracts when the temperature drops—and the air inside your tires is no exception. The reason this occurs has to do with the speed at which air molecules move.
- Warmer molecules move faster. These fast-moving molecules spread further apart and take up extra space.
- Colder molecules move slower and stay closer together taking up less space and don't push up against the walls of your tires with as much pressure.
Though the decrease in pressure due to temperatures is perfectly normal, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your car’s tire pressure. You should always check your tire pressure on cold days, if your tires appear deflated, or any time you have a reason to believe your psi isn't ideal. Here are some things you can expect from driving with low tire pressure:
- Worsened Vehicle Handling: Your tires play a vital role in helping your vehicle start, stop, and steer. Low tire pressure can reduce the responsiveness of your vehicle handling—impacting your safety on the road.
- Increased Tread Wear: Low tire pressure causes more of your tire tread to be exposed on the road—causing increased and uneven wear.
- Worsened Fuel Efficiency: Have you ever ridden a bike with low tire pressure? If so, you will understand that low tire pressure causes your vehicle to work much harder. This can cause a sharp increase in fuel consumption—making you pay more at the pump.
If your tire pressure is low for reasons other than the cold weather, you may require a patch service or a new tire. No matter the situation, Paul Campanella’s Auto and Tire Center is here to be your solution.