Cold Weather Tyre Pressure: How is it Affect by the Cold

With winter fast approaching and temperatures already dropping, many motorists will soon notice changes in their tyre pressure. It is common to see your tyre pressure warning light in as we enter into these colder months or to simply notice your tyres are looking slightly more deflated than usual. This is due to the change in temperature affecting the air inside the tyres. 

The cold outside temperatures cause the air inside our tyres to become more dense, leading to a lower tyre pressure. Autumn and winter are common times of year to notice this change in your tyres and the right time to add a little more air to ensure the pressure stays correct.

In cold weather, tyre pressure can drop 1 PSI per 10-degree drop in temperature. 

Does TPMS go off in cold weather? 

Most modern cars are fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) which automatically indicates changes in tyre pressure and sends a notification to the dashboard – notifying the driver of any drops in pressure. It isn’t unusual to notice this notification on your dash this winter as the temperatures drop, however, you shouldn’t wait until you see the light to check your pressure. The TPMS is designed to tell drivers of tyre pressure changes whilst driving and is not to be solely relied upon for your tyre pressure maintenance. 

If you notice your tyre light on a chilly morning, you probably need to top up your tyres with a little more air – even if the light goes off after a period of driving. This is because the air has heated up during tyre movement, not because the pressure has fixed itself fully. 

How to check your tyre pressure

During the winter you’ll need to check your tyre pressure monthly, so it is important to know how to carry out a tyre pressure check and know what you’re looking for. There are a few places to look when finding out the recommended tyre pressure for your car. These include the logbook, in the driver’s side doorsill, or on the inside of the fuel tank flap. Once you have the PSI needed for your vehicle, you can check to see if your pressure is correct. 

The best way to check tyre pressure is with a pressure gauge. Make sure this is the same measurement as your tyre’s pressure indicator – for example, PSI, Bar or KPA. Once you have your gauge, follow these next steps:

  1. Remove your tyre valve cap and place the pressure gauge on the valve stem
  2. Press down the gauge evenly on the valve stem for an accurate reading

It’s that simple! If your tyre pressure comes up lower than recommended for your vehicle, which is likely to be the case in cold weather, you can then add some air in until you achieve the desired tyre pressure. 

Do I need to add air to my tyres in the winter? 

It is important to add more air to your tyres if your pressure has dropped due to the cold weather. If you don’t you’ll be driving with an incorrect tyre pressure which could lead to significant tyre damage and impact your safety on the road. 

Driving with low tyre pressure increases your risk of a tyre blowout, leads to advanced wear and tear on your tyres and uses up more fuel. 

To conclude, losing tyre pressure in cold weather is a common problem among motorists. Checking your tyre pressure monthly is the best way to ensure you are always driving with the correct pressure and remaining safe at all times.

If you do notice your tyre pressure has dropped, fill up your tyres with some more air as soon as you can. 

Read more helpful tips and tricks from our experts in our help and advice section.

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