Overloading and Underinflation

What is overloading and underinflation, and why do they matter to you?

Overloading is when a vehicle or trailers weight exceeds the tire’s load carrying capacity. In other words, it’s when your tires carry more weight than they can handle.

Underinflation is when the tire air pressure is too low to support the weight of the vehicle.

Together, overloading and underinflation are the main causes of tire blowouts and tire failures.

Effects of Underinflation and Overloading

When a tire is overloaded or underinflated, it can’t grip the road properly, which leads to poor handling, vehicle instability, and reduced fuel economy. Not only that, but overloading and underinflation lead to heat buildup in the sidewall and tread area, potentially causing serious problems. The more an overloaded/underinflated tire is driven on, the more it heats up, which can cause the structural components to break down and lead to tire failure.

If a tire has been driven on for an extended period of time while overloaded or underinflated, you should have a tire professional inspect it for related damage or deformation. If any damage to the tire is found, it should be removed from service immediately and replaced.

Learn more about proper air pressure

When replacing your tires, be sure that the new tires meet or exceed the minimum requirements for load carrying capacity. When loading a vehicle, make sure that you don’t put more weight in your vehicle than can be supported by the tires

How to Avoid Underinflation and Overloading

Be sure to check your air pressure regularly. We recommend checking the air pressure at least once a month. Your tire’s maximum inflation and load carrying capacity can be found on the tire sidewall. Your vehicle’s recommended cold air pressure can typically be found on the door placard, in the glove compartment, or in the owner’s manual.