One true sign of winter is when your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light comes on after a string of cold days. When that light comes on, it’s natural for people to worry one of their tires might have a leak. However, it’s important to know that cold air temperatures also result in the tire pressure dropping—you can expect to lose about one PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature outside falls, in addition to the average of one PSI lost per month just from general seepage.
When you combine these factors, the air pressure in a tire can dip below the recommended level with ease, causing your TPMS light to go on. Once that light does come on, it’s important you check the current pressure of your tires with a gauge and fill them up with air as needed.
Here’s some information about how the cold can cause low tire pressure in the winter in Madison, TN.
One of the reasons why your tire pressure will drop so rapidly in the winter is that you’ll experience larger swings in temperature from night to day. If the temperature reaches 45 degrees at day and goes down to 15 at night, then repeats that, it means you’ll see a variation of three PSI depending on the time of day at which you check your tires, in addition to the standard rate at which you lose air.
There are some circumstances in which the TPMS light might only go on in the morning, because that’s right after your vehicle has gone through an entire night of sitting in the cold. If it shuts off after you drive for 10 to 20 minutes, that means the warming of the tires has resulted in the air expanding and the inflation level returning back to normal.
Still, it’s never a bad idea to check the air in your tires just in case. If you don’t have a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle (and you probably should), you can find a gas station that has a pressurized air pump and attached pressure gauge. You can then check the status of your tires’ air pressure and fill them up to the desired level. Always be sure that you fill up to the air pressure recommended for your vehicle. You can find this information either in your owner’s manual or often in the driver side door jamb. Remember that you’re going to the recommended inflation level, not the maximum inflation level (sometimes both numbers are printed, which can cause some confusion).
If you see the TPMS warning light flashing rather than remaining solid, this means that the problem is with the TPMS itself, and not the tires, meaning you should take your vehicle in to the shop to have it checked out.
To learn more about maintaining steady air pressure in your tires during the winter, we encourage you to contact our mechanics in Madison, TN at Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair today.
Categorised in: Driving Tips
This post was written by Writer