Proper inflation is necessary for tire safety, performance, maximum tread life and best fuel economy. Always keep tires inflated at the pressure specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Tire pressures must be checked at least once a month and before long trips, when tires are cold (before operation, cool to the touch). Use an accurate tire gauge to check pressure since it is not possible to tell an underinflated tire just by looking at it. Do not reduce pressure when a tire is hot and do not inflate a cold tire higher than limits molded on the tire’s sidewall. Do not overlook spare tire inflation pressure. If your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), it does not replace your manual monthly inflation checks.
Inflation Pressure for Off-Road Use: Inflation pressures for tires used in most off-road situations should be the same as those for highway driving. Off-road driving, especially at low inflation pressure, increases the risk of damaging the structure of the tires due to impacts. Reducing inflation pressure to increase off-road traction can result in over deflection, excessive heat buildup and ultimately tire failure. If a lower inflation pressure is used to gain additional flotation/traction at low speeds, the tires must be re-inflated before resuming driving on the highway or at higher speeds, whether on-or off-road.
Inflation Pressure for LT Tires on Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Vehicle manufactures utilize load range D and E LT tires to achieve the high load capacities of which heavy duty vehicles are capable. Reducing inflation pressure from that specified by the manufacturer reduces load capacity and changes handling characteristics which can be dangerous. Yokohama always recommends for drivers to follow the placard pressures. If a driver reduces tire inflation pressure, they are solely responsible to ensure that the load capacity of the tires is not exceeded and the vehicle is capable of operating safely.
Underinflation and/or overloading of a tire causes excessive heat build-up and internal structural damage. Overinflation makes it more likely for tires to be cut, punctured or broken by sudden impact. These conditions may cause a tire failure, including a tread/belt separation, even at a later date, which can lead to an accident and serious personal injury or death.
Checking your tire pressure is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your tires, last longer, are more fuel efficient and provide the best grip. Here’s how: