One of the "being a good driver" skills that took a while for me to master is checking my tire pressure. I keep one of those pen-style pressure-checking gadgets in the glove compartment and every fourth or so fill-up, I whip it out to check the tire pressure. I find it a bit frustrating to do - I feel like I'm always letting the air out, somewhat defeating the purpose of checking them.
It turns out, I'm doing this all wrong and not nearly often enough. Transport Canada recommends a monthly check. And according to this post from CAAQuebec, I shouldn't use those pen-style pressure checkers. They are often inaccurate and there are other tools that are much better. They include a video that demos checking tire pressure as well.
Of course, none of this would matter if I had the new tires that Pirelli showcased at the recent Geneva Motor Show. Their new tires, Pirelli Connesso, take tire pressure monitoring to an unprecedented level; Connesso tires have sensors that monitor air pressure, temperature, operating conditions, wear and other information important for safe vehicle operation. Connesso tires send all this info to your smart phone and will even book service when it determines that your tires are under inflated or hampered in some way.
Check out this aspirational concept video from Pirelli:
Beats getting down on my hands and knees in the rain when I'm trying to measure the pressure on my Saturn's tires.
But regardless of whether you check your self or your tires do the reporting, it is essential to keep your tires properly inflated. Tires are our vehicles' only contact with the pavement, so if they aren't properly inflated, acceleration, braking or steering may be inhibited. And other safety components of our cars, such as antilock braking or traction control, might not function properly if our tires aren't kept at the right pressure.
For more on Tire Inflation and its relationship to driving safety as well as fuel efficiency, check out our previous post on Tire Inflation.
Is checking your tire inflation part of your regular vehicle routine? Share any tips in the comments below!
- Rose R.