Keeping Your Tires Properly Inflated this Winter

The Houston area saw two winter storms paralyze the city and surrounding area in an abundance of caution. More than 500 wrecks were reported in the first round of cold weather last Friday. Drivers unfamiliar with icy roads were faced with slick streets and sudden losses of handling.

The winter season will stay for a few more months, which allows for the possibility of more sub-freezing days. Drivers can help ease the ill effects of the cold temperatures by ensuring their tires are properly inflated. Just a few minutes can spare you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage, lost time from work, and lowered stress levels.

Measuring your tire pressure is especially important during the winter months. It is during this time of the year when air from the tires seeps out due to the cold environment.

The best time of the day to check your tire pressure is in the morning before you head to work or run your errands. Your car should be unmoved for a minimum of three hours in the cold so as to get an accurate tire pressure reading. Measuring the tire pressure when the car is warm from driving will result in an inaccurate tire pressure reading.


Drivers can usually find the recommended tire pressure usually on the side of the tire, or inside the door panel. Make sure you also have a tire pressure monitor. You can pick one up usually for a little more than one dollar at your local auto parts store.


Approach each tire, remove the valve-stem caps and use your monitor to measure the pounds per square inch (PSI) in each tire. For best results, measure the tire pressure twice, and make note of the results.

Next, drive to your nearest gas station. Park in front of the air hoses available. Measure the pressure from each tire once more, then begin inflating the affected tires with air. Check the air pressure periodically until the recommended PSI level has been reached.

These simple steps can help prevent disastrous results. Improperly inflated tires can lead to blowouts on the road, lower gas-mileage and even a loss of traction on slick streets. But with constant monitoring and attention, drivers can greatly reduce the risks associated with improperly inflated tires.

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