Appropriate air pressure plays a great role in optimizing performance offered by a tyre. Any excess or lack on this front intensely affects driving dynamics. Comfort, handling, tread life and safety...they all get impacted when tyres are over or under inflated.
Contact Patch and Inflation
The part of a vehicle that comes in contact with the road is called contact patch. And more than often, it is no bigger than the size of a palm.This means that a very small area in contact with the ground is responsible for ensuring you reach safely from point A to B. This contact patch depends on the the air pressure inside a tyre.
When over-inflated, size of the contact patch becomes smaller. This means that a smaller portion of tyres is now in connect with the ground.This impacts stability, handling, braking and comfort. Also, over inflation leads to uneven wearing of tyre, leaving the central part of the tread more worn-out.
An under-inflated tyre has a wider contact patch. While this could offer better grip and stability, it reduces fuel efficiency and impacts handling. Such a tyre also tends to wear-out faster, with the edges and shoulders losing rubber at a faster rate than in the centre.
Unlike most other problems or symptoms with your vehicle, checking the tyre inflation is actually quite an easy task. Most people do it by themselves while others choose to get it checked by a professional. Either way, one should get their vehicle’s tyre pressure checked periodically.
How to check for the right inflation or right tyre pressure of your car?
If you want to make the most of the fuel that you use for your car then you need to ensure that your tyre inflation is on point as well. There are ways in which you can check your tyre inflation in your car :
- Finding the tyre pressure – You can find the right tyre pressure listed on a placard/sticker that can be found on the driver-side door, right behind the seat. The right pressure or inflation rate for each tyre can be found here, including the spare tyre. It is advised that you adhere to these instructions to ensure enhanced tyre life and optimal performance of the car. If there is no placard available, then you can refer to car manual.
- Temperature –Tyres of a running vehicle come in contact with the road and develop heat through friction. This leads to an increase in the tyre’s pressure. Excess of this heat build-up adversely effects the tyre by increasing the rate of tread-wear. Too much increase in pressure could also lead to bursting of a tyre. In fact, this is a reason for a large number of accidents.
Things to know about the tyre pressure of your motorbike
Motorbikes are much more difficult to ride and handle than cars. They are more prone to accidents and inherently not-so-stable. That is why, before you take your bike out for a spin, you must make sure that the tyre pressure is at the optimum level. Mentioned below are some of the most important things to be kept in mind when it comes to motorbike tyre pressure:
- Using your own gauge–It is not uncommon to find your bike to be improperly balanced even though have just inflated you tyre by visiting a gas station. The bike might feel too uncomfortable for you. This happens because a lot of gas stations tamper with the tyre pressure rates. Sometimes, the rate may be read-off up to 30psi. Therefore, it is best that you carry your own gauge to double-check the pressure.
- The appropriate measurements – The bike that you use for commuting on the regular can be turned into a bike that you take with yourself on an adventure trip. That means going off-road, and off-track. However, it is advised that you check the measurements for the different conditions and terrain before you choose to take your bike there. That way, you can prevent the tyre from sustaining damages or an unforeseen accident from taking place.
- Worst case scenario – If the tyres are under-inflated then you might have difficulty in handling or controlling the bike, overall. The rims might come off as well. On the other hand, if they are over-inflated, then the tyres might wear-out quickly, heat up and the ride might be too bumpy and uncomfortable for you.
These are a few things that you must keep in mind when checking the tyre pressure on your motorbike or even your car. That way, you can get the best performance from your vehicles and avoid accidents.