The Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Proper Tire Pressure.
Frugal Ideas

Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Proper Tire Pressure

August 16, 2018

Honestly, did your parents ever teach you about tire pressure?  Mine did not, it is something most people do not even think about. So here we will explore The Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Proper Tire Pressure.

Since moving to Virginia I have had such bad luck with tires. Tires that have been damaged from poor alignment, and I’ve had multiple flat tires. I have bought more new tires recently than ever before. Tires are expensive, and face it, they are just not a FUN purchase.  I know this is not a subject that keeps most of us up at night, however it is a GREAT way to SAVE MONEY, BE SAFER AND GREENER!

Tire Issues Hit Home

A couple of years ago while parked at a local store; someone I know suggested that I should have my tires checked on my pickup. I did, it was not good news. My front end alignment was not correct and the right front tire was horribly worn on the inside edge. It was not safe to drive it was so damaged.  I have always been great about doing oil changes and other things when needed (well, having them done) but I have never thought much about tires. I bought two for the truck and that was just under $300.00

After selling the truck I had a used Subaru Forester, I will never know why, but I kept getting flat tires! I never drive near construction sites. I even had a puncture on a sidewall. When you replace tires on an all wheel drive vehicle you should replace ALL four! Who knew? Just a few months ago with my newer Nissan Rogue I received a police escort while rushing to the garage with a leaky tire. All of this had led me to wanting to research and write this.

The Cost Of Not Paying Attention

Did you know that if your tires are not inflated properly you can lose fuel efficiency and have your tires wear out too fast?  You might also experience poor handling with poor alignment or worn tires. I am not in any rush to spend another $600. On tires any time soon.

Being Knowledgeable is the best answer
An Excerpt From US News

“Getting the right air pressure in your vehicle’s tires is crucial to ensuring a safe, efficient, and comfortable drive. It will also maximize the life of your tires, saving you money by stretching the time between expensive tire replacements. Fortunately, keeping your tires properly inflated is easy.
So, how do you know what the best air pressure is for your vehicle’s tires? U.S. News Best Cars suggests following the manufacturer’s recommendations unless you have specific guidance from a professional indicating that alternative air pressures are appropriate.

Why Proper Inflation Is Important

Safety is the most important reason to keep your tire pressures at their recommended level. Driving on severely underinflated tires, or those overinflated well past their maximum inflation pressure, can cause a blowout while you are driving, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
Many advanced safety and driver assistance functions will not operate at their optimal capability if your tires are not properly inflated.
Keeping your tires at their recommended pressure will also give you the best balance of ride quality, handling prowess, tire life, and fuel economy. Driving on underinflated tires costs about 0.2 percent in efficiency for each one pound of pressure they are under the recommendation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you’re 10 pounds low, you’re giving up 2 percent of your fuel economy. Tire underinflation will also lead to significantly accelerated tire wear and damaging heat buildup.

It Is Not the Number You Find On Your Tire

A vehicle’s recommended tire pressure is often confused with the maximum tire pressure shown on the tire sidewall. That number indicates the maximum pressure your tires can tolerate while carrying their maximum allowable load. Filling your vehicle tires to their maximum pressure for everyday driving is a bad idea.
Driving on tires that are over-inflated will increase wear on the center of the tire, affect your vehicle’s handling, create a harsher ride, and potentially reduce your braking efficiency. Some people recommend driving on overinflated tires to increase your gas mileage. However, the money you save with fewer trips to the gas station will likely be offset by more frequent trips to the shop for new tires, as overinflated tires will wear unevenly.

Exceptions: In the Winter

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend slightly higher pressures be used in winter tires (sometimes called snow tires). There are a couple of reasons for this, but the result is that the higher pressure will make the tires more responsive, according to online tire retailer Tire Rack.
As tires won’t typically heat up as much in winter temperatures as they do in the summer, the increase of 3 to 5 psi of recommended tire pressure will keep winter tires at about the same pressure as regular tires run at during most of the year.
Each time you switch from winter to all-season tires and vice-versa, be sure to check the pressures of the tires going back on your car.

Maintaining Your Tire Pressure

You should check your tire pressures at least once a month to ensure that they are where they should be. It’s easy to do it yourself at a gas station, though you’ll want to invest in an easy-to-read tire pressure gauge to back up the built-in tire gauge on the station’s air compressor.
While you are checking your tire pressure, it is also a great time to inspect your tires for wear and damage. Take a good look at the tread, valve stem, and sidewall to see if there is any damage. Discovering problems during an inspection can save you from being stranded on the side of the road later.
Most new cars are fitted with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). Some will show the specific tire pressure at each wheel, while others will just give you a warning that one of your tires is low. Whatever you do, don’t ignore a TPMS warning, as it could mean that you have a tire going flat.”

An EASY Test For Tire Safety from – The Penny Test

“It only takes a penny to see if your tires are worn or losing tread. Examining your tires for wear and tear, along with checking tire pressure and alignment, are essential to ensuring your vehicle’s safety on the road and helping to improve gas mileage and performance. The non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and check tire condition and pressure regularly.

“The penny test is a simple, yet effective, way to check tire tread. If you see Lincoln’s head above the tread, you are ready for new tires,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.”


I hope this information saves you some pain, aggravation and expense.  Especially for the women out there, we need to learn more about the cars we drive. Learning more does not mean we have to change our own oil, or get dirty if we do not wish to. If you want to DIY that is fabulous!

Being safer, saving money and  saving fuel are big benefits just for putting air in your tires when needed.

Please share Secrets Your Parents Never Told You About Proper Tire Pressure with friends and family who might want to be safer, save money, and help the environment.

thriftyandgreen tire pressure

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  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    You had info I have practiced, some I had forgotten, and some new things I will do.

    • Reply
      August 20, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      I had never heard of the penny test before. A cheap and easy way to be safer on the road!

      • Reply
        March 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm

        It was new to me also! So easy to do! Thank you for stopping by.

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