According to tire manufacturer Continental, it is still essential to check your tire pressures regularly. Even today, many cars are not fitted with tire pressure monitoring systems – they are simply too old. These systems did not become mandatory in cars until 2014 but, at nine years old, the average car on Germany’s roads pre-dates the changes in the law. Even tire inflation gas is no protection against slow punctures due to foreign bodies such as nails piercing the tire.
Anyone who fails to carry out the recommended checks when refueling, or otherwise every two weeks, is living dangerously and driving more expensively. An undetected loss of tire pressure can cause tire failure – a particularly dangerous situation when driving even at moderate speeds. Even the gradual, normal loss of air pressure through the rim and valve leads to a rise in tire wear and rolling resistance. This in turn drives up fuel consumption. At the same time, braking distances increase, steering precision decreases and there is less chance of safely avoiding obstacles at higher speeds. The tire’s service life also decreases – tires running at 0.4 bar below the correct pressure will return around one third less mileage.
The correct tire pressures can be found on a sticker on the pillar of the driver’s door, on the inside of the fuel filler cap or in the glove compartment. And don’t forget that different values apply depending on how the car is loaded, so adjust your tire pressures accordingly before driving a fully laden car.