Modern cars come equipped with electronic monitoring systems, alerting drivers to external and internal changes that impact vehicle handling and safety. When temperatures drop, for example, it’s not uncommon to see the tire pressure light flash on the dashboard. Knowing how cold weather impacts tire performance, outlined here, will leave you better prepared to care for equipment before the warning light comes on, preventing dangerous accidents in the process.
How Cold Weather Impacts Tire Pressure
Tire pressure monitors built into each wheel detect when equipment is under-inflated. A change in the temperature outside causes a deviation in normal tire pressure. When the rubber is exposed to cold air, the air inside the tire contracts. If the pressure continues to drop lower than the set readings, the warning light will come on.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore the Tire Pressure Light
If the warning light comes on, take the car to an auto maintenance specialist immediately for assistance. Having a professional inflate equipment to the recommended manufacturer setting will prevent various issues. Driving with under-inflated tires, for example, increases the risk of traffic collisions. This is because more rubber makes contact with the road when tires are deflated. The friction causes the material to overheat, increasing the risk of blowouts and losing control of the vehicle. Mechanical components also work harder when air pressure is low, burning more energy and lowering gas mileage.
To prevent these problems, a trained auto mechanic should routinely check tire pressure and make the appropriate adjustments. Parking the car in a garage will also prevent cold weather from having a negative impact on equipment.
Whether you need tire rotation and air pressure checks, oil changes, brake service, or additional vehicle maintenance, the ASE-certified technicians at Mullanphy Tire & Automotive are equipped to care for your car. Based in Florissant, MO, the mechanics have over 29 years of experience providing fast, affordable, effective auto repairs to improve fuel economy, handling, and performance of clients’ investments. They’ll also share advice on how to care for tires between professional appointments. Visit the mechanics online for special offers and call (314) 921-4961 to schedule auto services in St. Louis County.