Summer is coming to an end, which means that in a matter of weeks temperatures will start dropping during the day and at night. Once the weather cools, your car may begin signaling you that your tire pressure is low. That’s because the outside temperature has an impact on tire pressure.

Temperature Affects Tire Inflation

(Pixabay / ivabalk)

When the temperature is high, the air in your tires takes up more volume, whereas when the temperature is cold, the air takes up less volume. Thus, when temperatures plunge, the computer in your car believes that your tires are low on air. The inflation pressure in tires generally drops by 1 to 2 psi for every 10 degrees the temperature lowers. Also, when you drive your car, and the tires warm up, the pressure in the tires will increase one psi during each five-minute interval in the first 15 to 20 minutes you drive.

Tire manufacturers have a recommended psi, which dictates an optimal pressure level for your car and its tires. However, that psi number is set for when your tires are cool. Ideally, when you add air to your tires in the wintertime, you should fill them up when they are still cool. However, since most people don’t have a way to inflate them at home, you will probably have to drive to a gas station first. Before you leave home, measure the tire pressure for each tire and make a note of it. When you get to the gas station, measure the tires again, then add the amount of pressure you needed based off of the first reading.

If you leave your tires underinflated, it will cause you to lose some control of steering, increase friction, cause more wear on your tires, and decrease your car’s efficiency in using gas. However, if you overinflate your tires, your ride will be bumpier.

To avoid the consequences of over and underinflated tires, it’s important to check your tire pressure once a month. Even without leaks, your tires will still continuously lose pressure. Chances are, your car won’t signal you until your pressure is significantly low, so it’s important to check your tires manually. Making a habit of checking your tire pressure can help extend the life of your tires and will also make you aware of minor issues before they become big problems.


Summer is ebbing and the temperature will change as seasons change. There could be many modifications you can make for your car. But one of the concerns you must know ahead is that tires might need some air inflation. This is because tires air pressure can go low when the temperature goes low as well.

How Temperature Affects Tire Inflation [infographic]