With the temperatures as cold as they have been, I'd wager to bet many of you out there have had your tire light come on in your vehicle due to the low pressure.

With that said, should you fill up your tires to their recommended PSI when it's this cold outside?

I found a great article on Firestone's website; here are the details. 

How Cold Weather Affects Tire Pressure

Understanding the science behind tire pressure fluctuations in cold weather is essential. In simple terms, as temperatures drop, air molecules slow down and gather together. Conversely, when temperatures rise, molecules move faster and spread apart. This phenomenon directly influences tire pressure.

Imagine a basketball left outside in the cold morning air—it slightly deflates and then re-inflates in the afternoon's heat. This same principle applies to your tires, with a potential loss or gain of 1-2 PSI for every 10℉ change in temperature. Over a weekend, a 20℉ drop could lead to a significant 4 PSI loss. While tire pressure typically bounces back after a cold spell, ignoring low pressure can have severe consequences.

Effects of Low Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure can result in various issues, including:

1. Increased Stopping Time

Underinflated tires can lead to longer braking times and increased skidding, especially on wet pavement.

2. Poor Fuel Economy

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by approximately 0.2% for every 1 PSI drop in the average pressure of all tires.

3. Decreased Tire Lifespan

Underinflation reduces tire lifespan and makes them more susceptible to damage, necessitating more frequent tire replacements.

The short answer is yes; you should add air to your tires if they've dropped below the recommended level.

Don't Leave These 6 Items in Your Vehicle When it's Freezing

USA Today has shared six items that need to be removed from your car during freezing temperatures. While some of these might seem obvious, there might be a few you've not considered before.

5 Vehicles That Don't Belong On The Roads In A Snowstorm

Gallery Credit: Clay Moden

8 Steps To Winterize Your Vehicle

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