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Under-inflated tires take the air out of summer road trips


Road trip season is here and drivers giving their car the spring tune-up can’t forget to check the tires.

The risks and costs of driving on under-inflated tires can be high.

A tire can still be under-inflated by as much as 20 per cent and still look ok, which is why Kal Tire Zone Manager Kyle Lewarne said the most important thing is to not eyeball or guess if tires have enough air.

“Check the door placard or the gas cap to determine the correct, ideal air pressure for your vehicle,” he explained. “Have the air pressure checked and brought up to the ideal pressure to make sure the handling of the vehicle is the way it was supposed to be.”

It’s not just handling, under-inflated tires will also lead to poor fuel economy and in a worst-case scenario, a tire blow out.

A tire that is low on air pressure will appear to buckle, almost a ‘U’ shape, reducing surface contact and increasing the risk of hydroplaning along with the other issues.

Drivers will also want to make sure the tread is still okay.

“Cosmetically, on the side of the tire, you’ll want to check for any cracking, which can be caused by weathering over time or a tire that may have previously been run low on air pressure,” Lewarne said.

He suggested drivers check the PSI of tires every time they fill up the tank.