The Effects of Air Pressure on Wet Weather Performance

Having the right air pressure in your tires can improve fuel efficiency and treadwear, but it also means better wet weather performance. Air pressure plays a big role in hydroplaning resistance.

Underinflated Tires in Wet Weather

When a tire is underinflated, the vehicle load isn’t distributed evenly and the center of the tread can’t support the weight of the vehicle. When the center tread area doesn’t support the vehicle load, the shoulders of the tire are forced to pick up the slack, causing the center tread area to lift up and away from the driving surface. Not only can this lead to premature treadwear, it also keeps the tire from sufficiently displacing water, which makes the tire more likely to hydroplane.

Learn more about hydroplaning.

Properly Inflated Tires in Wet Weather

Properly inflated tires evenly distribute the load across the face of the tire, maximizing how much tread contacts the driving surface. This allows the tire to come into full contact with the road, removing water from the contact patch as rapidly as possible.

For the best possible wet weather performance, we recommend inflating your tires to the vehicle manufacturer recommended air pressure. This air pressure should provide the best possible contact patch for your tires.

Learn more about air pressure and dry performance.