FOR a safer, more comfortable and economical ride, having the right air pressure in your tyres matters greatly.
Unfortunately many people are ignorant of the fact, and statistics worldwide show that tyres are regularly under-inflated, which may cause them to become unseated from the rims or fail, resulting in a dramatic loss of control of the vehicle.
The lack of pressure reduces road-holding capability and increases braking distance on wet surfaces and can even lead to a burst tyre.
Therefore it is important to check and adjust the pressure of your tyres before setting off on any long journey.
The Perak Road Safety Department Director Syahruddin Abdul Hamid said maintaining the correct tyre pressure also helps to extend the life of tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency.
He said tyre pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of the tyre in pounds per square inch (PSI) or BAR pressure.
“The manufacturer of the respective vehicle specifies the suitable pressure for the tyres, and it is the responsibility as the driver to make sure that the pressure is checked and corrected on a regular basis.
“We recommend doing this every two weeks to ensure optimum tyre pressure,” he added.
Syahruddin said underinflated tyres could quickly become underinflated if it is not check regularly.
He said under inflated tyres would have uneven contact with the road and would exhibit excessive wear on the inside and outside edges of the tread if the tyres are left underinflated for some time.
He added not only does low tyre pressure wear your tyres out more quickly but drivers may also experience increased rolling resistance with the road which means reduced fuel efficiency and increased CO² emissions.
“As for over inflated tyres putting too much air in your tyres can be just as damaging and costly.
“Over inflated tyres will have a smaller contact patch – the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road – which can lead to a loss of traction and poorer braking distances.
“Overinflated tyres will also wear heavily and unevenly across the central part of the tyre leading to shorter tyre lifespans than if the tyre were correctly inflated,” he added.
Syahruddin added that it is not always apparent that air is being lost from the tyres, but it generally escapes at the rate of up to two PSI of air every month.
He said more air is usually lost during warm weather, so more regular checks are needed when temperatures rise.
“Drivers can find the recommended tyre pressure for their vehicle in the handbook, printed either in the sill of the driver’s door, or on the inside of the fuel tank cover.
“Your vehicle manufacturer may suggest different tyre pressures for your front and rear tyres so make sure you aware of these guidelines,” he added.
Alternatively Syahruddin said drivers could use tyre pressure gauge.
However he said always check the tyre pressure with a tyre pressure gauge when the tyres are cold.
“Finally, if you are using your vehicle to carry additional load or weight, always consult your vehicle handbook for the correct loaded tyre pressure.
“Therefore its very important for drivers not to ignore their tyres because accidents can happen especially if it involved heavy vehicles,” he added.