Why your tires deflate in cold weather


It’s still very much winter here in Texas, and it has been a pretty cold one. So, when you get in your car in the morning to head to work, and as you wait for your car to warm up, you may notice that your tire pressure light is on. This may seem peculiar to you if you aren’t’ aware of how the weather and temperature outside can affect the air pressure in your tires. Most cars have tire pressure monitors built into the dashboard area, and whenever the tires are not at the proper level of inflation, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) will sense it and become activated.

Whereas hot weather can cause your tires to overinflate, very cold weather can do the opposite, causing your tires to become under-inflated. Either one of these is not good for your car or your safety. Not only is it dangerous to have underinflated tires, but it will negatively affect the gas mileage of your car, or even the steering and alignment if the tire inflation is off centered. It can also cause faster wear and tear on your tires, which is another huge danger when driving in cold and wet environments in terms of control, handling, and steering.

How the weather affects your tires

The relationship between the air pressure in your tires and the temperature outside is quite basic but largely correlated. When the temperature outside changes, it affects the air pressure of your tires, as noted. In the fall and during the winter time, the cold weather outside will cause the air pressure in your tires to lower significantly. Especially if your tire pressure has been set or changed during the hot summer months, you will notice a more significant difference and decrease as soon as the cold weather hits.

If your tire pressure was already slightly low, this will obviously cause a quicker and vaster air pressure decrease than if the tires were at a proper level of inflation before the fall and winter months. As it is typically a colder environment outside than within one’s garage, the air pressure of the tires of the cars that are parked outside will be more affected than the air pressure of the tires of those cars that are parked in your garage in the slightly warmer temperature.

Checking your tire pressure

When you check your tire pressure, make sure you do it in the morning or before you have driven your car. The reason for this is that when you drive your car, the friction of the tires against the road causes a rise in temperature to the tires and a temporary false inflation level. Also, check your tire pressure monthly, to ensure they are staying properly inflated. If your tire air pressure light comes on, be sure to check your tires immediately or take your car to a nearby McKinney car shop so that they can do it for you.

For more driving safety tips or for any needs you may have for car maintenance in McKinney, here at Nortex Lube and Tune, we would be happy to assist you. Let our team of automotive experts help keep you and your car safe on the Texas roads. Contact us or come by today, and let’s get started.


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