John Deere Maintenance Monday: Tire pressure
Radio interview source: Shane Louwerens, John Deere Ag Tech Instructor, Northwest Mississippi Community College
Cindy in South Dakota wants to know what kind of role outdoor temperatures play with tire pressure, and when is the best time to add air if they seem low?
Shane Louwerens is a John Deere Ag Tech Instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He says tire pressure fluctuates with temperature changes. When tires are cold, the air molecules constrict. As the tires heat up, air molecules expand. Every 10-degree increase in temperature will change your tire pressure by one pound per square inch, or psi.
"The tire pressure label on the side of your side wall tells you fill the tire to whatever the psi is, and that is a cold tire pressure check. That's when you're supposed to fill it," says Louwerens. "You're supposed to get up in the morning and say, 'hey look I want to go ahead and put some air in my tires.' That means the vehicle hasn't been driven because the friction warms up the air."
It's recommended that you check tire pressure with every oil change. If it's too low, you may notice a difference in handling and reduced gas mileage. Louwerens warns not to put in more air than recommended because over-inflation isn't good, either. It decreases the comfort of your ride because the tires will be hard as a rock, and it will also cause them to wear unevenly.
"Naturally a tire should be straight across flat. They may have a little bit of a curve so when you put weight on it and you're going down the road, that tire is running all the way across the tread pattern," says Louwerens. "If you over-inflate, you basically make it stay in an arched position, and you're running on the center of your tire."
Bad part about that - you'll have a bald strip where it's worn out more in the center of the tire than the outside edges. This is dangerous in slick conditions because less tread on the ground means less traction.
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