Tire Pressure Light Coming On When It’s Cold?

Checking tire pressure with pressure gauge

Driving in the snow, ice, and wind presents safety hazards and can interfere with commuting and other trips. Anyone who regularly drives in the winter knows what challenges can come in such conditions. Furthermore, you may detect the tire pressure light in your vehicle, indicating that the air pressure is low. This is a common issue, so don’t think it’s unique to your car. As you understand why this happens, you can have peace of mind and keep your tires inflated properly.

Why Cold Air Deflates Tires

The sight of deflated tires can be stressful, especially if you have places to be. Lower air pressure happens regularly in the winter when temperatures fall. However, this doesn’t happen because there is a hole in the tires. So don’t take your vehicle to a shop expecting a technician to find a nail or other object puncturing the tire. The truth is, when it’s cold, the air in the tires condenses. This will often occur overnight and in the morning when it’s coldest.

It Happens With Other Objects

If you are skeptical of this phenomenon, test the principle with other things. For instance, place a basketball or soccer ball outside. Leave it out there overnight, and check on it in the morning. You will see that it has deflated a bit. However, later in the day, as the temperature warms up, the air pressure will increase.

Not a Permanent Problem

If you get in your vehicle in the morning this winter and see the tire pressure warning light come on, the air pressure should improve. Chances are good that the air in the tires will expand as the temperatures go up and your vehicle gets warmer. Thus, the tires should return to their normal levels as you drive.

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A Word of Caution

On the other hand, low air pressure in the tires can be a problem. This can eventually lead to unsafe conditions and make it difficult for your vehicle to grip the road. In snowy and icy conditions, in particular, low tires may not enable your vehicle to stop effectively. Before the car and air outside start warming up, you should still fill the tires with air. This is especially important if you do a lot of morning driving in the winter. For example, your tires will lose about a pound per square inch of pressure for every 10 degrees in temperature drop. In addition, tires will naturally lose about 1 pound of pressure every month in any condition.

This winter, pay close attention to the air pressure in your car’s tires. If the pressure doesn’t improve when it gets warmer during the day, take your car to Bob Brady Buick GMC in Forsyth, Illinois. Come by today, so the technicians can inspect your vehicle and prepare it for winter.

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