The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada launched its Be Tire Smart Week this week, running from May 12 to 18. The safety campaign is a chance to remind Canadian drivers the importance of regularly maintaining their tire pressure and educate them about tires and tire pressure.
“Today’s technically advanced tires offer drivers unprecedented performance and dependability,” Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC, said. “Taking five minutes each month to measure and, if necessary, adjust your tire pressures to the recommended level safeguards optimal tire performance, safety and fuel economy. Those who are unsure if their tires are properly inflated should consult with their local tire professional.”
TRAC cited recent research conducted by Leger that shows many drivers are unaware of how tire pressure affects driving capabilities and performance. According to the study, 21% of surveyed motorists do not know they should check their tire pressures monthly, while others believe that tire pressure should be checked when tires look low or their TPMS alerts them.
Monthly pressure checks are the single most important thing a driver can do to ensure their tires perform as they were intended, TRAC stated, adding that a tire can be underinflated by as much as 20% and look normal. The association also noted that TPMS does not alert the driver until the pressure is significantly outside the optimal range.
Furthermore, 45% of surveyed Canadian drivers do not know where to find the correct inflation pressures for their vehicle. Thirty-one percent of surveyed drivers said that they inflate to the air pressure stamped on the tire’s sidewall. TRAC reminds drivers that this imprinted tire pressure refers to the maximum inflation pressure a tire can contain under maximum load, not the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation level.
It’s not all bad news, though. TRAC noted that 69% of surveyed drivers use a personal air pressure gauge and 78% rotated their tires in the past 12 months. Fifty-six percent had their tire alignment checked in the past year.
TRAC if offering drivers this four-step approach to measuring tire pressure, recommended by tiremakers:
- Find the recommended inflation pressure on the vehicle placard. If you can’t find it, check the owner’s manual for its exact location.
- Remember to only measure pressure with the tires are cold. If you have been driving for more than two kilometers, wait three hours before measuring.
- Use a tire gauge when measuring pressure. Remove the cap from the valve stem, press the tire gauge onto the valve and take the pressure reading.
- Add air until the recommended inflation pressure is achieved. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve, then re-check the pressure.