| Are you calibrating your tires correctly?
For many drivers, calibrating tires is simple and fast. However, it's common to find people who make mistakes when doing the calibration. See 6 tips that will help you calibrate your vehicles tires the right way:
1. What pressure to use: 28 or 30 pounds? This is one of the most common questions when it's time to calibrate. But always be attentive: each vehicle requires a specific tire pressure indicated by the manufacturer, which can even vary between front and rear tires. The recommended pressure may also increase according to the vehicles extra weight. Always use the pressure indicated in the manufacturer's manual.
2. I don't have the manufacturer's manual, how can I find the ideal pressure?
Most vehicles, especially older ones, have a factory sticker on the car or fuel tank door with all the necessary guidelines for correct calibration. The sticker will indicate the pressure in BAR (English calibration system) and PSI, known as pounds (system used in Brazil). If you can't locate this information on the vehicle, contact a dealer.
3. Can you calibrate tires with nitrogen gas?
Yes. Although not so common, calibrating with nitrogen tends to ensure better results. Calibrating with the gas maintains constant pressure, can increase the tires life and should be done with the same pressure recommended for compressed air. Always choose between compressed air or nitrogen gas, combining the two will result in a loss of tire performance.
4. Does tire temperature influence calibration?
Only the tires internal temperature matters, the ambient climate doesn't influence the tires pressure. The tires internal heat increases the pressure, and hence, will cause a "false" calibration the gauge can indicate nearly 10 PSI above the actual pressure, and this will cause the car to continue uncalibrated when the tire cools down. It's recommended to not drive more than 3 km before calibrating the tires so as to keep them cool. If it's not possible to do this, add 4 PSI to the indicated pressure.
5. When do you need to check the tire pressure again?
The most recommended time interval is every two weeks, at the most. Whenever possible, check the tire pressure every week don't forget the spare tire!
6. Can incorrect calibration influence fuel costs?
Yes. When the tire is low on air (low pressure), friction with the ground increases and, according to Autoesporte magazines issue No. 545, the additional fuel cost can reach $600 per year! It's a very high value which can easily be avoided.
The wrong calibration can also reduce the tires useful life by up to 45% and significantly increase the risk of serious accidents. Use these tips and ensure optimal tire pressure for your vehicle.