One of the leading causes of tyre breakdown is under-inflation, which occurs when the tyre pressure is lower than its recommended minimum pressure. Under-inflation causes tyres to become flatter than they should, thus increasing contact between the tyres and the road surface. Riding on under-inflated tyres can be detrimental to your tyres and car. Here's a look at some downsides of driving your car when its tyres have low pressure:
Faster wear and tear of your tyres
It is perfectly normal for tyre performance to gradually decline over time due to the wear and tear of everyday use. As tyre tread becomes shallower with every kilometre covered, low tyre pressure would accelerate tread wear. When travelling on under-inflated tyres, more rubber touches the surface of the road. This leads to increased friction, which may result in faster wear and tear of tyre tread. This will increase the risk of tyre blowouts, flat tyres and other tyre failures. In addition, premature wear of the tyres will result in early replacement.
Decreased fuel economy
Fuel economy can be measured as the ratio of a car's fuel consumption to the distance it travels. Tyre pressure largely affects your car's fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres will make your car burn more fuel because the engine will require more energy to offset rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is caused by friction produced between the under-inflated tyres and the road surface. The more rolling resistance your car experiences, the higher its fuel consumption will be. To remedy this, you need to inflate your car tyres to optimal pressure. In addition, keeping track of your vehicle's tyre pressure is also important for proper maintenance.
Poor car handling
As a driver you may have experienced difficulties handling your car at some point. One of the common causes of handling problems is under-inflated tyres. As the wheels keep rotating, under-inflated tyres get flatter. This not only shortens the lifespan of your tyres, but also makes it difficult to stop the car on slippery road surfaces. Stopping distances on such surfaces may be longer thus increasing the risk of a road accident. Moreover, low tyre pressure causes poor balancing of the tyre-wheel set weight while on the road. This may result in steering problems, thus exposing you to road safety hazards.
To maintain correct tyre pressure and avoid the above-discussed problems, it is advisable to take your car to the tyre shop on a regular basis. The mechanics at a shop can check tyres for proper inflation and also look for any other tyre problems before they can occur.