In winter, temperatures fluctuate dramatically. Even in warmer states, the seasonal transition between fall and winter can be drastic and has an impact on the clothes you wear, your heating and cooling system in your house, and most notably, your car.

As soon as the outside temperature drops, it takes longer for your car to heat up; you might have to run your defroster, or if you’re lucky enough, fire up your heated seats. However, the most common change is your vehicle’s tire pressure, which often triggers your tire pressure light sensor.

This alert should not be ignored, and making sure you properly check and fill your tires is imperative. However, understanding why this happens and learning to remedy the issue correctly will improve your winter driving experience and the overall quality of your car.

When Does My Pressure Light Come On?

That aforementioned low tire pressure alert can be aggravating, and for those who may not be as well-versed in car care, it may cause excess stress during the winter months. Does this mean your tires are going flat or that you will have a blowout on the highway?

No! Colder temperatures cause many types of materials to contract, decreasing tire pressure by allowing some of it to release. If any tire varies enough tire pressure from another, your vehicle’s sensor system is set off to alert you of the variation.

Tires with patches from a previous puncture can undoubtedly set off this low tire pressure alarm as well, especially in winter. This is because patches expand and contract independently from the rest of your tire, which will ultimately let out more air than solid tires.

How To Check and Fill Your Tires

Check Cold Air Tire Pressure - Often found on the inside of your driver side door, there should be a small chart that indicates proper cold air tire pressure for your vehicle’s model tire. Take note of this, as each tire should be set to this during winter.

Use A Functional Tire Gauge - Unscrew each air valve cover carefully before pressing a tire gauge against the air valve opening. This should push air up into the gauge and signal how many pounds per square inch (PSI) your tire currently has.

Fill Tire Accordingly - Slowly fill the tires on your vehicle that are low on air pressure, based on your cold air tire pressure from step one. Do NOT overfill your tires, as this can lead to the puncture of an inner tube, leading to a costly replacement.

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Be sure to follow their Facebook page for more basic at-home car care information, and please visit their website to schedule vehicle detailing service or a car wash today!