Underinflated tires are a bad idea.
Low tire pressure means a fairly serious impact on fuel economy, possibly as much as 2 or 3 mpg’s. Underinflated tires also mean sluggish handling, overheated tires and uneven tire wear. On a hot day, those overheated tires can lead to tire failure and a blowout.
Some later-model GM vehicles feature sensors that let you know when you’ve got a low tire, but obviously not all of us have that luxury. So you may be wondering, “how do I check my tire pressure?” First, the built-in tire gauges at gas station air hoses are notoriously inaccurate and can’t be trusted. The old pencil-style tire gauges are a little better, but they are also somewhat obsolete now.
A dial-type tire gauge is a good choice, with a long hose that allows you to get to hard-to-reach tire valves and a valve for bleeding off excess pressure on overinflated tires. A programmable tire gauge gives you a more high-tech alternative; it can “remember” the pressures for front and rear tires, and gives you an accurate reading with a backlit digital display.
We also stock several other styles of tire gauges, and we’re sure there will be one that’s a good fit for your budget!
Tires lose air pressure just as a matter of course; they lose air just sitting in the driveway, and we often don’t give them much thought until they turn into a problem. Remember that of all the things you can do for gas savings, proper tire inflation is one of the simplest, but also one of the most neglected.