Tire Air Pressure and Temperature Change

It is important to remember that it is the air pressure, not your tires, that supports the weight of your vehicle. This is why proper air inflation has such a big impact on your tire’s handling, traction, and durability.

You help your vehicle achieve its best performance capabilities by regularly checking the air pressure and accounting for temperature change, which can have a very serious impact on your tire’s air pressure.

When the air in your tire heats up, it expands. When it cools, it compresses. This affects your air pressure.

For every increase of 10 degrees in temperature, your air pressure will increase by approximately 1 psi.

For every drop of 10 degrees in temperature, your air pressure can decrease by approximately 1 psi.

While this may not sound like a drastic difference, it really takes a toll over time, particularly with the temperature changes from season to season. For instance, if you check the air on recently driven tires in the afternoon, by the next morning, the coolest part of the day, the air pressure can have dropped as much as 5-10 psi. This is enough difference in air pressure to impact performance, fuel efficiency, and treadwear. It is very important that you check your tire’s air pressure regularly, particularly during the colder months.

Once the vehicle has been driven, the tires heat up, causing the tire pressure to increase. We recommend checking your tire pressure after the vehicle has rested and the tires have had time to cool down. Temperature changes need to be accounted for in other scenarios as well. For instance, if you live in a colder environment and you have a heated garage, the change in temperature from the warm garage to the colder temperatures outside can cause the tire pressure to decrease rapidly.