How dangerous is it to drive with low tire pressure? How to do it.
You can see the TPMS indicator to let you know when your tire pressures have dropped too low for you to continue driving. You might be wondering if it is safe to drive to the nearest station to fill up your tires when this indicator lights on. How dangerous is it to drive with low tires?
You are at high risk for a tire blowout if your tires pressures drop too low. Low tire pressure can also cause performance problems and poor fuel economy. Low tire pressure can cause premature wear on the tires and make it more difficult to change them.
Low tire pressure is a reason you shouldn't drive your car. Our guide also covers some tips to keep you safer because it’s possible that you will choose to drive even though it’s not recommended.
There are reasons to avoid driving with low tires
1. The Risk of a Blowout
A blowout is the most serious consequence of low tire pressure. Sidewalls that are too flexible can result from a tire being underinflated.
As you head down the highway without stopping, the tires heat up and don’t cool down. The tire can become too hot and cause it to burst, especially if the tires are soft. Additionally, a soft tire can be punctured easily by any road debris.
2. Performance issues
You will experience issues when driving as the sidewalls begin to flex due to the under inflation. Most obvious problems occur when you brake or turn.
In this situation, tires will be less stable. You will also lose grip and traction on slippery surfaces. You will also notice a loss of control due to the sloppy steering.
3. Poor Fuel Economy
If the tires are not properly inflated, the vehicle will require more energy to continue moving. It’s the same concept that is seen if you try to ride a bicycle with a flat tire. To get going, you will need to pedal harder.
Your car's engine will have to work harder because there is greater resistance. This increased energy results in lower fuel efficiency and a longer time spent at the pump.
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4. Be Premature
Low air pressure can cause uneven tread wear. These tread problems may appear on both the inner and outer sides of your tire. These abnormal wear can't be repaired.
Considering that you can usually inflate the tires for free, it doesn’t make sense to drive it under-inflated. Another option is to purchase tires more frequently, which will be expensive.
You need to know what you can do if your tire pressure is low
Inflate your tires as quickly as you can when the pressure drops. If you live far from where you can do this, there are other options.
RELATED: 10 Best Portable Tire Inflators
1. Save the Date
If you are driving on a low tire and can’t get air right away, your best bet is always to swap out the tire for a spare. While it’s inconvenient to pull over and put a spare on, it’s the only way to guarantee your safety.
It is likely that you are able to quickly and easily put on a spare tire. You might have to call roadside help to get your vehicle back on the road.
RELATED: How Fast Can You Drive on a Spare Tire for? (& How Fast?)
2. Get on the Flashers
Safety must always be your priority when you make the decision to continue driving. You must take every precaution to protect your safety on the road.
You can make sure your car stands out from the rest by turning on the flashers. The flashers allow you to slow down on the road, while others remain aware that there’s a problem so they can stay away from you.
3. Remove Heavy Cargo
Your safety is at even greater risk when you load your car with too much weight. It is possible to lose some weight prior to driving.
If you are at home or work, consider taking out some items you don’t need. After you fill up your tire, you can always refill it.
4. Take short distances
If you are going to drive at all, it shouldn’t be for long. We understand that it doesn’t make sense to put a spare tire on if the gas station is just down the block.
You are more at risk the longer you drive. For this reason, you must weigh the distance carefully to determine if it’s worth the risk.
5. Slow down
Even if you are only driving down the block, you must reduce the car’s speed. Don’t follow the posted speed limit signs as your guideline.
There is less likelihood of anything bad happening if you move slowly. With your flashers on, it doesn’t matter how slow you go; others will notice that they should move around you.
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