How often should my tires be checked

Correct tire pressure

Insufficient tire pressure can be dangerous and damage the tires. If the air pressure is correct, you are not only safer on the road, but you also save fuel

  • Why the correct tire pressure is so important

  • How to measure tire pressure

  • What tire pressure monitoring systems can do

Hand on heart: When was the last time you checked the tire pressure on your car? Maybe before last summer vacation? That is by far not enough! Motorists shouldbest to check every two weeks, whether the tires are not running out of air. And for good reason: InIn Germany, 27 people die every year in traffic accidents due to technical defects in tires, 1710 are injured.

So take a few minutes the next time you stop to refuel and check the tire pressure.Measuring devices and compressors are available free of charge at many petrol stations to disposal. Tire pressure gauges are practical for on the go (photo above),which you can get for little money in any hardware store. They are handy and easy to use.

This happens if the tire pressure is incorrect

Even with an air pressure of half a bar too little, the driving characteristics of the car change: TheBraking distance can be longer, the cornering situation worse, and at particularly high speeds there is eventhe risk of the tire bursting.Even an inflation pressure of around 0.4 bar below the target value increases wear, and the tire's higher rolling resistance ensures youAdditional fuel consumption of up to 0.3 l per 100 km.

The annual additional consumption in Europe due to insufficiently filled tires alone amounts to three billion liters of fuel. That corresponds to a value of around five billion euros. If youwith too much pressure on the way this has a negative effect on driving comfort. You also have uneven wear on the tires.

Here you will find information on the correct tire pressure

How much tire pressure your car's summer or winter tires require is specified by the car manufacturer. The values ​​vary slightly for the front and rear tires. TheInformation on the correct tire pressure can be found in different places depending on the vehicle. For example here:

  • Description in the instruction manual

  • On the B-pillar with the driver's door open

  • On a sticker in the glove compartment

  • in the inside of the tank cap

  • in the manufacturer's tire pressure tables on the Internet

Tip from ADAC expert Ruprecht Müller:"For reasons of comfort, the manufacturers usually only specify the minimum pressure. An increase of 0.2 bar is hardly noticeable in terms of comfort, but it reduces fuel consumption without sacrificing safety."

Measure tire pressure, inflate tires correctly

The best thing to do is check it outTire pressure before driving or if you have already driven a few kilometers, ideally with oneOutside temperature of 20 degrees. Under no circumstances should the tire be too warm.

Unscrew the valve cap on the tire and place the plug of the measuring device on it. If the hissing noise does not stop immediately, the position of the plug must be corrected. If the connection is tight, you can read the pressure on the display of the device. The desired amount of air is then added or discharged using the "Plus" and "Minus" controls. Don't forget: All four wheels, if possible also the spare wheel, must be checked.

The correct tire pressure isdepending on the vehicle loadand can vary by up to 1 bar. If you go on holiday fully laden, you have to increase the tire pressure accordingly. In individual cases, vehicle manufacturers also prescribe a higher tire pressure when driving at high speeds.

Here you can read what to look for inTire pressure on a motorcyclehave to pay attention.

Nitrogen instead of air: tire gas is expensive and has hardly any advantages

The tires fromCommercial aircraft, Formula 1 cars or even dangerous goods transportersare usually filled with nitrogen instead of air. That makes sense, because these tires are exposed to extreme loads.Nitrogen has the advantage that it is non-flammable and even stifles fire.

Tire dealers are vigorously promoting it. A complete filling of all four tires with nitrogen or so-calledTire gas costs around 10 euros. In return, the car tires should then lose less pressure and hardly need to be checked. Nitrogen is even said to have a positive effect on wear and tear and fuel consumption.What is it about the promises?

What sounds good is put into perspective on closer inspection. After all, "air" already consists of around 78 percent nitrogen. And that hardly evaporates with an intact tire, approx. 0.1 bar over three months is a guide.

You must also check the pressure regularly on tires filled with nitrogen.Because damage or leaks on the tire can always occur.

Our conclusion: tire gas is not worth it!If you regularly check the tire pressure and fill it with normal air, you can save yourself the more expensive nitrogen!

What tire control systems can do

Since November 2014 In the EU, all newly registered cars and some mobile homes must be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). These systems, which vary depending on the manufacturer, warn the driver if the tire pressure is incorrect. If thatTPMS issues a warning message, you should check the tire pressure as quickly as possible and correct it if necessary. This is very easy with the compressor from the breakdown assistance set, which is supplied as standard in many vehicles. You can usually find the breakdown assistance set where the spare wheel used to be.

TPMS have the advantage that the driver can always keep an eye on the condition of his tires. These systems contribute to security, but can do theregular tire pressure checksnot replace by the motorist.

More ADAC articles about tires

Technical advice: TET

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