Modes of Transportation – In an Automobile

Tires: Check Their Pressure and Condition

Your tires' contact patch ensures your vehicle's traction on the road. The contact patch and traction level depend on, among other things, the tires' pressure.

Maintaining the recommended tire pressure: a question of safety

Because the tires constitute your vehicle's only point of contact with the roadway, it is essential that you give them particular attention to ensure proper traction.

Traction on the road depends on tire quality, wear and air pressure.

Where the rubber meets the road: a question of pressure

The portion of the tread that actually makes contact with the road surface is roughly the size of the palm of your hand. This is all that keeps a ton-and-a-half vehicle on the road.

This is why you should check your tire pressure every month to make sure it complies with the manufacturer's recommendations. 

The recommended air pressure for each tire is indicated in the vehicle owner’s manual or on the sticker that is usually located on the side of the driver’s door. Remember to check the pressure in the spare tire as well.

About tire pressure…

Tires that are inflated with nitrogen are less sensitive to changes in temperature, but they can still spring a leak or go flat.

Factors that may influence tire pressure

  • The condition of the valves
  • The condition of the wheels
  • Temperature changes
  • The weight of the vehicle's load
  • Roadway conditions

Tire pressure on “smart” cars

Some vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The device's warning light is located on the dashboard and switches on when a tire is underinflated.

Appropriate pressure: real advantages

  • Better traction on the road
  • More effective active braking and safety features (ABS brakes, stability control, traction control)
  • Greater comfort
  • Decreased risk of hydroplaning thanks to better clearing of any water that has accumulated on the roadway
  • Increased useful lifespan of the tires (because of even wear)
  • Cost of replacing the tires spread out over more time
  • Potential reduction in fuel consumption

General Condition of your Tires

For more about the condition of your tires, see the “Tires” section on the Regular Maintenance page.

To reduce your fuel consumption

Visit the Ecomobile Web site for information on ecodriving.