Q: Tire seems low

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Why does my tire look low on the bottom? It looks low at the bottom but it doesn't really feel like a flat tire. It still runs smooth. But it just looks flat at the bottom. But feels hard on the top of the tire like it doesn't need air. Even when I put air in the tire it only fills at the top and not the bottom. Not sure why?

My car has 218000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. There are several reasons why a tire might appear to be low, when in fact it has the recommended air pressure. First and foremost, a tire is designed to have a foot print, or flat spot that maintains contact on the road. As the tire spins, it creates centripetal force, which actually causes the tire’s width to decrease, which causes the tire to maintain the round shape the tire has when it’s off the vehicle. When this occurs, the tires foot print is reduced. This is why it seems harder to turn the slower you drive. If the car is stopped, and the wheel is turned to the left or right, it will also appear low. The best way to know for certain is to check your tires air pressure at least once per month. If you’re a member of Costco, you can stop by their tire shop and they will check it for free - as will most tire service centers.

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