You may notice when the weather turns colder, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light on your dashboard lights up more frequently. The Car Care Council recommends checking your tire pressure regularly during the winter to help keep the TPMS light off and your vehicle safe.
“It’s typical at this time of year for motorists to get TPMS warnings and then get worried about their tires,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Often drivers will see this in the morning when it’s coldest. If the temperature warms, the light could turn off but it’s likely that tires will still be a few PSI under inflated. This is why it’s important to check tire pressure regularly.”
According to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, for every 10 degree drop in temperature, tire pressure decreases one to two pounds per square inch (PSI). Checking the tire pressure is important for vehicle safety, tire life and gas mileage.
Incorrect tire pressure can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every one PSI drop in pressure of all four tires and improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent when the correct tire pressure is maintained.
“Tire pressure should be checked at least monthly. It is important to note that newer cars with tire pressure monitoring systems may not alert you until the tire is significantly under-inflated, so you may want to check it more frequently,” said White. “It is important to check tire pressure whenever there is a significant weather change and more often during the winter months.”