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Tyre Pressure - The Silent Killer

Incorrect tyre pressure can not only reduce the stability of a car but will lead to rapid and uneven tyre wear.

 

So when you buy a set of new tyres its a great idea to ask what pressure you should be running for your application.

What can incorrect tyre pressure do?

Low pressure in most cases will cause the shoulders of a tyre to wear faster than the center.  This is because during cornering the tyre doesn't have the strength needed to stay upright, the tyres fold under around corners.  Low pressure in commercial applications can be quite dangerous especially if the vehicle is top heavy and carrying a significant load.

High pressure may cause the center of the tyres to wear before the shoulders, this is most evident in high performance cars.  4x4's often suffer this when additional pressure is used for towing purposes but not relieved for normal driving.

Unfortunately either of these kinds of wear patterns will not impress local law enforcement.

So how do I check the pressure & how often?

Experts will tell you to check your tyre pressure at the local service station on a monthly basis.  Be warned that some service station inflation gauges can be faulty so it's always a good idea to pick up a cheap tyre pressure gauge from a store just so you know your local garage has a working gauge.  

Tyre pressure is easily checked by removing the cap from the valve on the wheel, pressing the pressure gauge against the valve firmly and evenly.

What pressure is the correct pressure for my vehicle?

We set tyre pressures based on the tyre profile (sidewall hight) and application.  

Low profile tyres will receive no less than 38psi

Medium profile tyres, should have between 32 and 38 psi depending on the weight of the vehicle.  Small cars like the Hyundai Getz will thrive on a lower pressure where bigger cars like a Holden Commodore require closer to 38psi.

An unloaded 4x4 shouldnt need any more than 35psi.  If you're going on a long drive with the kids and lots of luggage we would recommend a higher pressure like 40psi

Light Commercial applications vary wildly but 50psi is a good starting point