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The Science Behind Tire Pressure and Winter

Posted by Jared Katsoupis on Thu, Jan 08, 2015 @ 07:00 AM


We’ve officially reached that point when 20 degrees feels like 10 degrees with windchill. If you are like most, including myself, eventually this will have an effect on your vehicle.

As I drove home last night from work, the temperature was below 20 degrees and then out of the blue, my car made a sound to alert me that some part of my vehicle was not functioning properly. That part was my tires that had seemly deflated for an unknown cause. Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever had your tire pressure light come on when you think your tires are fully inflated?

Well, there is a seemingly simple scientific answer as to why your tires deflate more in winter.  Cold weather contracts the tire pressure in your vehicle by about one to two pounds for every 10 degree drop in temperature. If you are the type who hasn’t checked your tire pressure since the warmer days of august and even September, chances are your tire pressure is considerably lower than it was back then, leading to possible warning lights to be triggered in your vehicle.


Your tires may look okay on the outside when you check on them, but be sure to measure them with asimple tire pressure gauge. By not having your tires properly inflated you run the risk of wearing the tread on your tires quicker due to the resistance placed on those tires. It will also force your engine to work harder to compensate for this resistance causing a decrease in fuel efficiency. 

In short, always keep your tires inflated and do not ignore your vehicle’s warning lights. Bring your vehicle in the next day for proper maintenance! Wellesley Toyota’s service center has you covered for all your tire and maintenance needs, so be sure to come by if any of your Toyota’s warning lights turn on.

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