The frigid cold can cause your car to act up in a number of different ways. This year the arctic weather swept northern parts of the nation earlier than expected, leaving motorists little time to prepare their vehicles for the next four months of sub-zero temperatures.
One part of your car that will almost certainly go awry once the temperature drops is your tire pressure. For every 10-degree-Fahrenheit drop in temperature, tire air pressure will decrease about 1 pound per square inch. This, on top of the air which already leaves your tire naturally, can cause your tire pressure warning light to illuminate.
By noon yesterday, about 20 customers had visited George Matick Chevrolet in Redford, Mich. because their tire pressure warning light had turned on. Service manager Mike Hawkins said he explained to the customers why their pressure sensor had turned on, re-inflated their tires and sent them on their way.
General Motors says its important to keep tires inflated to their recommended PSI as underinflated tires can wear out faster, reduce fuel economy, affect vehicle handling and possibly lead to a blowout. All tire pressure monitoring sensors are required to display an alert when the tires drop 25 percent below the vehicle’s recommended PSI.
To ensure your tires are filled to the correct amount, check the pressure once a month with a quality tire gauge. GM also suggests visually inspecting your tires for damage or inconsistencies and having the tires rotated and balanced if needed.