Anyone in the NoVa area knows that mother nature can be pretty unpredictable. One day it's 60 degrees; the next day forecasters are calling for snow! This type of fluctuation in temperatures can trigger your TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) light. According to AAA, for every 10-degree change in air temperature, a tire's pressure will change about 1-2 PSI.
The purpose of your vehicle's TPMS is to alert you that at least 1 or more of your tires are under-inflated (or over-inflated in some cases). Improper inflation levels can result in unsafe driving conditions, quicker tire wear, and a reduction in fuel efficiency. Keep in mind, your TPMS is a tool that can help alert you when pressure is low, but a tire may drop below proper inflation before the TPMS warning light comes on. Therefore, TPMS does not replace routine, manual tire pressure checks.
To prevent your TPMS light from coming on, it is recommended that you check your tire pressure on a regular basis (at least monthly). You can find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle in the owner's manual, or listed on a sticker placed on your vehicles door jam, inside the glove box, or inside of the fuel door. The ideal time to check your tire's pressure is after it has been parked for a minimum of 3 hours (also known as "cold tires"). Once your car is in motion, friction causes the tire to heat up, increasing the pressure inside the tire, thus giving an inaccurate reading.
Even with convenient technology like a TPMS system, manual tire pressure checks are an important part of maintaining your tires and vehicle. Your safety is important to us! Be sure to check your tire pressure once a month, before a road trip, when carrying heavy loads, or whenever the temperature drops. You can visit any Wiygul Automotive Clinic location for a free tire pressure check anytime!