Tire Inflation Pressure
Underinflation can lead to tire failure. It results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its inflation pressure and not appear to be flat!
You can't tell if your tires have enough inflation pressure just by looking at them. Even though they may look fine, they may be underinflated by as much as 50%. According to a recent study, about 70% of the vehicles on the road have at least one tire that is either over or underinflated by more than 10%. In fact, 23% of all vehicles surveyed had at least one tire underinflated by 20% or more. This represents a real safety issue.
Properly Inflated 50% Underinflated
It’s important to have the proper inflation pressure in your tires, as underinflation can lead to tire failure. The “right amount” of inflation pressure for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual.
- When you check the inflation pressure, make sure the tires are cool — meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get inflation, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate inflation pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the inflation pressure inside to increase as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce inflation pressure when tires are hot.)
- Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.
- Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
- Add inflation to achieve recommended inflation pressure.
- If you overfill the tire, release inflation by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the inflation pressure with your tire gauge.
- Replace the valve cap.
- Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure).
- Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an inflation pressure leak.
- Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
If you have any questions, please contact your local tire dealer or call Cooper Tire at 1-800-854-6288.
Be Tire Smart - Tire safety information from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for the rubber products industry.