Tyre pressure is the easiest yet most neglected car maintenance trick. It requires zero hard work and takes no time at all. You don’t even need to see a mechanic to get your tyres properly inflated.
Before you go to a petrol station and start pumping away, firstly you need to identify the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle. Usually, the recommended tyre pressure can be found on the driver side B-pillars or by the fuel lid. Otherwise, refer to the owner’s manual.
Some cars which are available with different wheel sizes may require different tyre pressure so be sure that you are taking the measurement that is applicable to your specific vehicle.
There are three units for tyre pressure – kPa, psi and bar. The air pumps you find in petrol stations in Malaysia commonly use kPa and psi as their standard measurement units, just make sure you are using the correct figure.
For maximum accuracy, it is best to inflate your tyres when they are cold. Otherwise, remember to account for heat expansion and add up to +30 kPa (+4 psi) on top of the recommended readings.
It is advised to regularly check and inflate your tyre pressure, as often as once every fortnight. If there is a huge disparity in pressure between your tyres or your tyre pressure drops significantly every 2 weeks, it might be a sign that your tyres have a potential leak and require your immediate attention.
When your tyres are inflated to optimum levels, it will bring out the best performance for your car in areas of acceleration, braking, handling and ride comfort. Fuel economy will also improve as a result of the optimal tyre pressure.
However, Michelin Malaysia has also advised against overinflating your tyres as it reduces the contact patch of the tyres with the road resulting in accelerated tyre wear, increased braking distance and lower grip levels.