Tyre Pressure

Since tyre pressure plays an important role in the proper functioning of the tyres, through this piece of information, we want to help you have a better understanding of tyre pressure, and how and why is it important.

The tyres of your vehicle carry all of your car’s load, luggage and passengers included. The main element that fills up your tyre to make it functional is air. Hence, the right air pressure plays a major role in determining the proper driving behaviour of your car and its safety, along with yours. It even has a significant impact on the fuel mileage and the life span of your tyres as well. An elevated pressure of up to 0.3 bar is seen by professionals as unproblematic. It should not exceed that level because the tyre warms up during the journey and the pressure increases again by 0.2 to 0.3 bar. That implies increased fuel consumption and faster tyre wear.

Harmful and more dangerous than too high a pressure, however, is tyre pressure that is too low. This is the unanimous opinion of experts. Even if the tyre pressure lessens by 0.2 bar, it affects the mileage and fuel performance of the car. At a constant 0.4 bar tyre pressure, the wear even increases by a considerable 30 per cent. Apart from that, the structure of the tyre also gets affected, and the braking distance is sometimes extended enormously.

How to find information about the right tyre pressure?

The optimum tyre air pressure, both for summer tyres and for winter tyres, is specified by the manufacturer. Look for the following places to find out the information about the right tyre pressure:

• in the manual

• inside the driver or passenger door

• on the inside of the tank lid

• on a sticker in the glove box

• in tyre pressure tables of the tyre manufacturers

Normally manufacturers quote four values: the partial load pressure and the full load pressure for the front and rear tyres, respectively.

Part-load pressure is intended for normal driving when the car is not fully loaded and you are not driving at high-speeds. You need full-load printing when your car is fully occupied and loaded and you drive at high-speed over a longer distance - for example on a holiday trip with the whole family. After such trips, reduce the tyre pressure to partial load.

The information in the manual always refers to the tyres that are noted in the registration certificate of your car. If you drive other technically approved special tyres (such as wide tyres) with a different speed index or load index, tyre pressure will be based on information provided by the tyre manufacturer.

When should the tyre pressure be slightly higher?

• during long journeys on main roads

• and at steady speeds

• when the vehicle is fully loaded

• on longer trips on gravel roads

What should be considered for caravans and trailers?

If the vehicles have not been moved for a long time, it is especially important to check the tyre pressure before driving. For the right pressure, you should also stick to the manufacturer information here. If these are not available, experts recommend a tyre pressure of 3.0 bar for cold tyres.

Common consequences of incorrect tyre pressure

Poor grip: You can spin more quickly, especially on bends, because grip and directional stability are reduced.

Longer braking distance: They only come to a standstill several metres later.

Bursting tyres: The tyre is roughed and heats up. It can lead to tyre damage such as a crack.

Earlier wear: If the tyre is not even, lower the tyre faster on the outside or in the middle.

Higher fuel consumption: As the rolling resistance increases, your vehicle consumes more fuel. This also increases the exhaust gas values.

No tyre is safe from pressure loss; they all lose air over time. It is, therefore, essential to measure tyre pressure regularly and correct it if necessary. One should examine the tyre pressure regularly, preferably every 14 days, but at least once a month. A weekly test is recommended during the change of the seasons because with the warmer temperature outside, the pressure increases, and with the colder temperature, it sinks.

It is very important for the motorist to always measure the air pressure when the tyre is cold. You should not have driven for more than five miles at a moderate pace. Do not forget the spare tyre! Also, occasionally check its tyre pressure. So you are always prepared for emergencies.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems

Since November 2014, all newly registered cars and motorhomes in the EU must be equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). These systems, depending on the manufacturer, warn the driver if the tyre pressure is wrong.

Tyre pressure monitoring systems work differently: In so-called direct systems, all tyres are equipped with their own pressure sensors. Indirect systems detect the pressure on the tyres via the ABS or ESP sensors. If the TPMS gives a warning message, you should go to a petrol station, check the tyre pressure and correct if necessary. TPMS has the advantage that the driver can constantly view the condition of his tyres. However, with tyre pressure monitoring systems the tyre change is more complex and expensive.

Retrofitting your older car with a tyre pressure monitoring system is not duty by law. But we at Loughborough Refurbs can certainly do it for you in a very short time and at a very good price.

Things you must know about valves:

Valves are small but have an extremely important job. That's why you should always keep an eye on your them: for example, if the air pressure is too low every time you check, it could be due to a damaged valve. Check the valves regularly for damage or heavy contamination. Along with tyre change, replacing the valves is also necessary. In our Loughborough Refurbs workshop, this will be done automatically, as the valve change is also strongly recommended by the tyre manufacturers.

• Simple rubber valves are only suitable for tyres with a maximum pressure of 4.5 bar.

• Renew the valves every four years at the latest.

• Always unscrew the valve cap. It protects the valve from dirt, dust, and water.

Is tyre gas worth it?

In addition to tyres filled with compressed air, many garages also offer tyres with so-called ‘tyre gas’, which uses nitrogen. This type of filling is used, for example, in racing cars, aeroplanes, and dangerous goods transport where the tyres are exposed to extreme loads and increased safety is required, especially with regard to the risk of fire.

But even with an ordinary car, tyre gas can be used. The advantage of this is primarily that the pressure in the tyre remains constant because, with heat, this gas expands less. Also, it should stay in the tyre longer than air.

A gas filling for all four tyres costs good money - an investment that in the opinion of experts such as automotive clubs, is not worthwhile, because:

Normal air also contains about two-thirds of nitrogen.

If you have to correct the air pressure at a petrol station, you only fill up with air anyway.

With comparatively low pressure and moderate temperature fluctuations of the car tyres, the slight advantages of the gas hardly matter.

Even tyre gas escapes; the differences between air and gas are only minimal after several months.

In case of a puncture, it makes no difference at all.

We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or want to get your tyre pressure checked/topped up, please come to our Loughborough Refurbs workshop at any time during our operational hours. We will be happy to help you!