Summer’s well and truly over now – in fact we’re past the equinox, which means that it’s closer to the winter solstice than the summer solstice. We’re set for a run of colder days, though – at least in Melbourne – there are also some pretty warm ones coming up. And the variation in the weather means that it’s a good time to start talking about tyre pressure and how temperature can affect your tyres.
In physics and chemistry, the relationship between pressure, temperature, and volume is pretty simple, at least in an ideal gas model. If you increase temperature, then that means that you’ll have to increase some combination of volume and pressure.
When temperature drops, then tyre pressure and/or the volume will have to drop too.
How does this translate to your vehicle? Well, when the temperature starts to get a bit colder, then it’s likely that your tyre pressure will drop correspondingly. So as we leave summer behind and start to move into the colder winter days, you might want to keep an eye on your tyres.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tyre pressure isn’t the kind of thing you can measure with the naked eye, and getting out a gauge to do it by hand is annoying and time-consuming. Fortunately, there is a better solution: the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Known as a TPMS for short, this device uses tyre sensors on each of your wheels to directly measure the pressure levels of each of your tyres. Then, if any of those levels are outside the desired range, it will alert you with a light and a sound. As for that desired range, that’s something that will vary depending on which vehicle you drive, and can be a hassle to remember when you’re doing this by hand. Fortunately, once you’ve set up the TPMS, this will keep track of this automatically.
So rather than relying on your own organisation to ensure that your tyres stay properly inflated, you can use modern technology to save you time and effort and to protect your tyres. In turn, this will protect you from all the problems associated with underinflated, low-pressure tyres, which can vary from worse fuel economy and faster tyre wear to increased stopping distance and poorer handling – in other words, the kinds of issues that could lead to a serious accident.