Beverley Hills, California – April 12th 2016 – Adherents to the practice of over-inflating tires often claim that it can improve fuel economy. There is some basis for this argument as less of the tire is in contact with the road, there is less rolling resistance on the wheel and the car uses slightly less gas as a result. This might appear to be a nice improvement, but it fails to take into account the detrimental and potentially dangerous side-effects.
First of all, over-inflation can put your tires under a dangerous strain because the excess pressure may go beyond their design capabilities. Also your vehicle’s ride characteristics may be adversely affected by road cambers, potholes and bumps. In the worst situation this may lead to a tire blowing out which is extremely dangerous, especially if travelling at higher speeds.
Tire over-inflation has also been proven to reduce the lifespan of your tires because the excess air pressure causes the center section of the tire tread to protrude. This results in the tire wearing unevenly because the central part of the tread is taking the brunt of the contact with the road. This means tires need to be changed out more frequently, which is costly.
The most significant downside of tire over-inflation, though, is that it can ruin the entire experience of driving. Over-inflated tires do not provide the same levels of grip, so reducing your car’s ability to handle corners. Braking distance is also increased, with less of the tire able to made contact with the road. Finally, the car’s ride quality can feel harsh and uncomfortable, with the suspension less able to cushion you from bumpy roads.
In summary over-inflated tires may save you a few dollars in gas usage but this must be offset against increased risk of accidents, poorer handling & braking and decreased tire life.
Auto-Tec spokesperson Annie Michaels said “This illustrates how damaging a common myth can be if it isn’t put into perspective. For optimum safety tires should be inflated to the levels recommended by vehicle manufacturers. We recommend that you check your tire pressures with a calibrated tire pressure gauge at no more than monthly intervals.”