Thursday, February 6, 2014

Keeping your tires safe

Most people love getting maximum fuel efficiency and maximum life out of their tires.  But when you drive on a significantly under-inflated tire, the tire can overheat, which can lead to tire failure.  Under-inflation reduces fuel efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect the vehicle’s handling and stopping ability. 

If you drive a Honda, your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that comes on every time you start up the engine in your vehicle, which monitors the pressure in your tires while you drive.  Each of the tires on your vehicle has its own sensor.  If the air pressure in any of the tires gets low, the sensor sends a signal that causes the low tire pressure light to illuminate.  This warning light represents a flat tire, though it looks more like a horseshoe or a fishbowl with an exclamation point inside of it.

What should you do when this light illuminates on your dashboard?  Stop and check your tires as soon as possible, and if needed, inflate them to the proper pressure, which can be found in your owner’s manual.  Also, make sure to have your tires checked by a dealer, in case one of the tires has a leak, which may cause it to go flat if not repaired.

Because tire pressure is affected by temperature and other conditions, the low tire pressure indicator can come on unexpectedly.  For instance, in cold weather, your tire pressure can decrease overnight due to the air becoming denser with the sudden drop in temperature, thus causing the low tire pressure light to illuminate.

Remember to manually check your tire pressures often, including the spare, about once a month, to ensure that they are within the recommend inflation pressure.

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