Tire Pressure – All You Must Need To Know About Tire Pressure

tire air pressure light 4

Tire pressure? That’s the pressure present in your tires. Every car has a tire pressure and recommended pressure set by the car manufacturer.

Where can I find the tire pressure of my car?

In just about all cases, you can find the recommended tire pressure in:

  1. The instruction booklet of your car
  2. On the inside of the fuel filler door
  3. On a sticker in the driver’s door pillar, on the back of the sun visor or in the glove box (see photo)

Recommended Tire Pressure

The recommended tire pressure can vary by brand, model, type and tire size. A recommended pressure is always given for normal use and for heavy use (more weight or higher speed).

Please note: tire pressure is not related to tire size. So, the same tire on a small, light car, may need less pressure than on a large, heavy car.

Why is driving with the correct tire pressure important? 

Proper tire pressure is necessary for optimal handling. In addition, you use less fuel, your tires wear less quickly and it is safer for yourself and other road users. 

In the Netherlands, tire pressure is usually indicated in bars. 1 bar equals 1 atmosphere, which is the pressure of the outside air. The average tire pressure of a passenger car varies between 1.8 bar and 3.2 bar. Each tire deflates slowly. This is because rubber lets air through and causes small cracks and holes in your tire. Expect to lose about 5% air per month. Slightly larger leaks along the valve or the rim can push this percentage even higher.

Tire pressure has quite an impact on driving a car. In addition, each tire must be sturdy enough to support the vehicle, luggage, and passengers. The tire must also be flexible enough to ensure optimum grip on both dry and wet roads. 

The Ideal Tire

A good tire must meet many requirements: wear resistance, rolling resistance, driving comfort, and stability. A tire must also be strong, supple, and smooth, but with grooves. Combining all these properties in one tire is not easy. The perfect tire is still not available, although some come pretty close. 

Types, sizes, and brands: there are many tires. The manufacturer provides the tire size and pressure. Based on this, the car is approved. 

We speak of under-inflation when there is a lower tire pressure than the car manufacturer recommends for the tire size.  

Every tire deflates after a while. This is because the compressed air slowly escapes through the rubber of the tire. This is because there is a pressure difference between the inside and outside of the tire. Also leaks or a broken valve can cause air to escape. Calculate that approximately 5% of the air escapes per month. So, when you don’t check and/or inflate a car tire regularly, a lot of under-pressure can occur after a few months.  

About 60% of the cars in the Netherlands drive with under-inflated tires. Not only is this dangerous, it also costs extra fuel and causes more emissions of CO2, particulates and exhaust gases. Flat tires extend the braking distance, reduce grip and the tires wear out more quickly. In short, this costs accidents, inconvenience and money. Studies show that more than 10% of the cars in a company’s fleet suffer from under-inflation.  

Driving with tire pressure higher than prescribed is not dangerous. In fact, TNO recommends always driving with 10% higher tire pressure than the recommended tire pressure for normal use.

Also adjust the tire pressure according to use. If you often drive on the highway, then your car can tolerate a bit more tire pressure.  

As of November 2012, the EU has introduced a tire label with the aim of helping consumers to choose fuel-efficient tires, while also taking into account safety and noise aspects. It is similar to the systems for white goods.

Rolling resistance (Fuel consumption) 

Elke band Every tire has rolling resistance, which does not depend on the car itself. The greater the rolling resistance, the more fuel is needed to overcome that resistance and keep the car moving.

Braking distance on wet roads 

The safety of your tire depends on many factors. Its tread, its sensitivity to aquaplaning and its ability to brake well on any type of road surface. Above all, the ability to brake well on a wet road surface is essential. The risks of an accident increase enormously. It is therefore logical that a label was given to this.  

Noise production outside the car

Depending on how the tire is made and what the profile looks like, the tire makes more or less noise when rolling on the road. Here we are talking about ambient noise, not the noise inside the car.  

Tire pressure is not part of the tire label. But the tire will have the optimum characteristics at the recommended pressure. Too low pressure causes a reduction in performance on all characteristics.

tire pressure