MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A lot of drivers are pulling into tire repair shops with flat tires or tires that have suddenly had the air pressure drop. It’s due to the extreme cold, and it’s dangerous.
Inside Tires Plus in St. Anthony Village, it has the feel of an emergency room: Cars and trucks hoisted up on lifts and tires under inspection.
If your tire pressure is too low, you have less control of your vehicle.
“It’s very important to check your air pressure once a month. A lot of data says twice a month. Because of the temperature fluctuations, you need to maintain that proper air pressure,” Matt Johnson, the Tires Plus manager, said.
Johnson says air tends to leak out of tires when there is a significant drop in temperature in a short period of time.
“It really adversely affects the steering and stability of the vehicle, you don’t have that buffer zone when you hit potholes, things like that. Your carrying capacity gets decreased,” Johnson said.
You can add more air yourself with an air hose at a gas station, but you need to know the right amount. You can find that info inside the driver’s door.
“The tire pressure is always located in the door jam itself or on the B pillar. Here’s an example of a pressure placard. Every vehicle has that,” Johnson said.
Some gas stations with air hoses are turning people away because the lines are frozen right now. That can happen when the temp drops below 20 they say.
Driving around with low tire pressure is also damaging to the tire. It puts more stress on the sidewall, so you’ll end up replacing your tires more frequently. So, don’t ignore the warning light about your tire pressure.
Also, don’t forget your spare tire and check its pressure, so it’s good to go if you need it.