Inflation is an essential part of tire maintenance if you want to have a safe and comfortable driving experience.
However, driving with over inflated tires is quite dangerous, as it could damage your car and put you at a higher risk of accidents. So, how can you know when your tires are over inflated? Keep reading to learn about the symptoms to look out for!
Over Inflated Tires Symptoms
1. Reduced or No Traction
One of the first indications that your tires are overinflated is if their traction is severely reduced. Since tires make contact with the road surface, it’s important to ensure that they’re working properly to give your car the grip it requires.
If your tires have excess pressure, though, the center part bulges and the contact patch becomes much smaller than in properly inflated tires, meaning only a small part of the tire will contact the road, affecting the overall traction.
Loss of traction also affects your braking distance as well as your cornering, which results in your car feeling like it’s sliding.
In fact, a Popular Mechanics experiment challenged the myth that over inflated tires are more stable and ideal for boosting fuel efficiency, and their survey showed that the vehicle’s handling is actually compromised when the tire pressure is too high.
Therefore, if you notice your tread is becoming lackadaisical, it’s time to check your PSI to confirm that your tires are inflated properly.
2. Excessive Wear on Center Treads
Tires come with a legal tread depth of roughly 1.6mm, which is measured across the entire tire using methods such as the penny test.
If your tread depth on either part of the tire is below the 1.6mm limit, you could be breaking the law.
As well, once you notice that the center treads are worn out more than the inside and outside of the tire, it could be an indication that you’re driving on over inflated tires.
If you have been driving for longer with overinflated tires, then, the center treads do most of the work, and are thus more worn out than the surrounding treads.
3. Uncomfortable Rides
Over inflated tires also lead to a more uncomfortable ride, even when driving on smooth paved roads, as over inflated tires are less flexible and stiffer than ones inflated correctly.
Because of the stiffness, you’ll feel the road’s impact from bumps and potholes, making the ride very uncomfortable, as over inflated tires lose the ability to absorb this shock.
These uncomfortable rides will not be noticeable if you’re constantly driving on bumpy roads or have other car problems (i.e a broken suspension system).
However, if you’re driving on highways at high speeds, the drive becomes uncomfortable and dangerous.
Additionally, if this becomes a recurring problem, you’ll need to take your car to a tire professional to confirm the exact cause.
4. Failure of Car Systems
When your tires are over inflated, some systems will be affected, such as the Electronic Stability Programme and anti-lock braking systems, which have become standard in almost every vehicle.
Most of these systems work properly only when tires have a proper grip on the road and the vehicle is functioning properly.
Therefore, these systems will not work as they should or will pick the wrong signals when the traction is affected, which becomes dangerous both for the driver and other motorists on the road.
5. Odd Vehicle Behaviors
As a driver, you should know how your car operates in a standard-setting, so if you feel that your vehicle is behaving abnormally, you should check the tire pressure, as traction control is tuned to work when tires have the correct PSI.
However, if you’re unable to identify the problem, you’re recommended to consult a tire expert for further guidance.
To know more about tires, you can also read our related articles on unbalanced tires symptoms, under inflated tires symptoms, and overinflated tires.
Over inflated tires are risky on the road, as they’ll lose grip and traction. In addition, you increase your chances of getting into an accident or getting a tire blowout.
To identify whether you have over inflated tires, you should look out for these symptoms and address them as soon as you notice, to be better assured of a safe and comfortable ride.