Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Is it Safe to Keep My Tires Underinflated?

asked by on

Is it safe to keep my tires underinflated?

The inflation of your tires can affect your vehicle in many ways. Your tire pressure should be maintained regularly in order to prevent damage to your vehicle. With that being said, there are some exceptions to your tire inflation specifications, which can benefit you in the long term.

Your vehicle is equipped with a tire inflation sticker located on the driver side door jamb. This sticker shows the pressure specifications that the manufacturer recommends for your tires, which is based on the type and size of tires that came with your vehicle, as well as the design and weight of your vehicle.

Overinflation, or putting more than the specified amount of air in the tires, can assist you in achieving better fuel mileage, but it can also cause the tire to wear excessively in the middle of the tread. Underinflation can cause the tires to wear excessively on the outside shoulders of the tread. It is typically safe to adjust your tire pressure to within about 4-5 psi of what the manufacturer recommends, but keep in mind that the tire does have a maximum allowable pressure located on the side of the tire that should never be surpassed. There may be a time when you will benefit from under inflating your tires. If you are stuck in the mud or on anything else that may be slippery, airing down your tires will assist you in getting traction (it is important that you air your tires back up once you get out of that situation.) If you consistently run your tires well above or below the recommended pressure, you will eventually have a tire failure, as both extremes will cause the tires to overheat. This causes the rubber and steel construction of the tire to become compromised, which will ultimately result in tire failure, and a potentially very dangerous situation.

The only sure tire pressure guide that you can follow is the pressure on the manufacturer sticker. Anything above or below that pressure can affect the life and safety of the tire. It is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s specifications and check your tire pressure at least once every two weeks.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Tires are vibrating

The tires would need to checked to see if any damage to the tires is found and if the tires are properly balanced. If you added any tire sealer to a tire to try and seal a leak, then the...

Q: What does the TPMS light mean?

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on your Accord does exactly what the name says – it monitors the air pressure in your tires. If the system detects a drop in pressure, it turns on the Low Tire Pressure light...

Q: Just replaced condencer 2 years ago. And it's gone out again why shouldn't it last for at least 100000 miles?

The condenser is located near the front bumper, is made of very thin aluminum, and is not protected very well. Small rocks and dirt can damage the condenser pretty easily. Make sure to replace the AC condenser with a...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...