How Does Temperature Affect Tire Pressure?


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Tire Pressure Gauge

Temperature and Climate Changes Heavily Affect Tire Pressure

Simple physics will tell you why- gas expands when exposed to heat and reversely, contracts when exposed to cold temperatures. But just how much can this affect the performance of your tires and your equipment? Well the answer is significantly! Improper inflation is the number one cause for underperformance and premature tire failure. More importantly, that affects your bottom line!

The  latest BKT Blog post discusses this very issue.
“It is a scientifically proven fact that pressure varies about 3-4% points at every temperature variation of 10°C (18°F) inside the tire. To put it simple:

if temperature goes up 10°C (18°F), tire pressure increases by 3-4%;
if temperature goes down 10°C (18°F), tire pressure drops by 3-4%.

Got it?

At any rate, the outside temperature is not the only variable to consider when checking and “adjusting” tire pressure. Also the heat generated by the tire can cause changes in pressure.

The point is…how does tire pressure affect the job?

Imagine this: your tire expert checks your tires – pressure is perfect – levels meet the exact recommendations from the manufacturer. Everything is great. Then, soon after the check-up, the outside temperature rises significantly (which often occurs in many parts of the world). In addition, the tire overheats while being used. The combination of these factors leads to a significant increase in tire pressure and a negative impact on performance.

Never forget, that overinflating tires leads to premature and uneven tread wear – the number 1 enemy in many applications.

The same “principle” applies the opposite way: if the outside temperature drops drastically (during harsh winters, for example) or if tires are used on icy or snowy surfaces, the pressure will decrease, worsening traction and maneuverability, damaging the tire casing and increasing fuel consumption.”

View the full article by clicking here.


So What is the Best Way to Deal with Fluctuating Temperatures/Pressures?

The best way to be sure that you are using proper inflation pressures is to follow the manufacturers recommendations. Check inflation in the morning when the vehicle and the tires are both still cold. Pressures may need to be adjusted during extremely cold or hot temperatures. If you have any questions, consult a specialty tire expert.
Specialty Tire Experts

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