Have you ever seen a vehicle with one or more tires that appear noticeably low on tire pressure? Didn’t you want to warn the driver of the situation before you witnessed a calamity? What if the vehicle with the low tire pressure is the one you’re driving? Wouldn’t you want to be warned?
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for TPMS
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT): National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that requires the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that warn the driver when a tire is significantly underinflated. The standard applies to passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, except those vehicles with dual wheels on an axle.
Why maintaining tire pressure is critical to your car and safety
Maintaining the correct tire pressure for a vehicle is an important factor in how heavy of a load your tires can safely carry. The correct tire pressure will carry the weight of your car and passengers without a problem. Too little tire pressure will eventually cause catastrophic tire failure.
Tires aren’t invincible. They are made of individual layers of fabric and steel encased in rubber. If a tire is allowed to run too low on air pressure, the rubber is forced to stretch beyond the elastic limits of the fabric and steel reinforcing cords. When this happens, the bond between the various materials can weaken. If this is allowed to continue, it will eventually break the bonds between the various materials and cause the tire to fail. Even if the tire doesn’t fail immediately, once a tire is weakened, it won’t heal after being reinflated to the proper pressure. So, if a tire has been allowed to run nearly flat for a period of time, the tire should be replaced, not simply repaired or reinflated.
Studies have shown that running tires with too little air pressure is not uncommon. It is estimated that about one out of every four vehicles on the road is running on underinflated tires. This also means that one out of every four drivers is needlessly sacrificing their vehicle’s fuel economy and handling, and reducing their tires’ durability and tread life.
Tire pressure is key to your safety
Because many drivers are driving on underinflated tires and falling into safety concerns, tire pressure maintenance has become a major safety issue throughout the automotive industry. This has caused the U.S. government to pass legislation mandating tire pressure monitoring systems. The main purpose of these systems is to warn the driver if the tires are losing air pressure, causing for a dangerous road situation.
The Best Solution is Preventive Care
Regularly inspecting for proper tire pressure is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle. If you require tire repair or professional inspection, we can help.
Call us for more information about the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure or to schedule an appointment with an expert.