it’s cold outside, time to inflate the tires

We got a little concerned this weekend when the check engine light was flashing on the car’s dashboard.  With the recent drop in temperature, I had an idea of what was probably causing it.

Cold weather air contracts and brings the PSI down.  Most standard-size car tires maximum PSI is around 44.  You can find your car’s maximum PSI by reading the information on the side of the tire.  I try to inflate my own tires to around 35 PSI.  It’s also a good idea to check your tire air pressure every month.  Uneven, low, or overinflated tires cause inconsistent tread wear and can have a heavy impact on the mileage of your vehicle.  Right now some of us are getting a slight break with the price per barrel of oil, but it’s a good habit to get into when prices start rising again.  Any bit of conscious decisions-making is fruitful in the long run.

As expected, a quick trip to the the gas station and some air fixed the issue.  Most newer model cars have a sensor that detects tire pressure and will give you the standard check engine light if they get low.  The unfortunate thing is wondering whether that light was on because of the tires or something more serious.  If indeed the issue was caused by underinflated tires, your check engine light should go off immediatley, as opposed to a more serious problem with your engine or a loose gas cap.