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How to adjust your tire pressure in winter?


To travel safely on icy roads and extend the life of your winter tires, it's essential to know your ideal tire pressure.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure that your winter tire pressure is ideal. If you don't have your manual handy, look for the recommended pressure on a sticker in the door jamb.

On some vehicles, stickers are placed in the console, glove compartment lid, or fuel door.

Why does the exclamation point (!) light come on?

If the tire pressure warning light stays on all the time, it means that one or more of your tires are underinflated by at least 25% of the manufacturer's recommended pressure.

The "Tire Pressure Monitoring System" is an important safety feature that measures the air pressure in your car's tires. You may notice this light coming on more frequently when it's colder outside.

Cold air is denser than warm air. This means that the pressure inside your car's tires is decreasing.

Why does tire pressure vary in winter and summer?

Several mistaken beliefs about proper winter tire pressure can lead to costly problems for your car. To ensure adequate performance and avoid problems, tires should be inflated to the correct pressure year-round. Why? Because weather conditions affect tire pressure.

For example, during summer, air expands in the tires as the weather warms up. During the cold winter months, the air pressure contracts.

A study by Transport Canada shows that 23% of vehicles in Canada are under-inflated by 20%, and 70% are over-inflated by 10%.

Recommended tire pressure is generally between 30 and 35 PSI. Lower tire pressure affects fuel economy and vehicle handling. When your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, you will increase their life and get the most out of their performance.

Some vehicle owner's manuals recommend inflating winter tires by several PSI, usually 3 to 5 PSI higher than the recommended pressures for all-season and summer tires.

When is the best time to check your winter tire pressure?

Ideally, you should check your tire pressure every 30 days or when there is a 10-degree change in temperature. If you are going on a trip, you should check your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge.

Why may the manufacturer's recommendations differ from the maximum PSI?

Car manufacturers recommend PSI (pounds per square inch) for tire inflation, the level at which you should inflate your tires. The PSI rating is designed to provide the most comfortable ride for your car.

What about the "Max PSI" on the tire's sidewall?

The "Max PSI" is the PSI that the tires can withstand at maximum load. Tires should be inflated for regular, daily use according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations.