Torque shop

My car is fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system. It often shows some minor disparity in pressure. How crucial is it for me to get each and every tyre inflated to the exact and same pressure?

Correct tyre pressure is essential for optimum all-round performance. That means dry and wet road grip, braking, ride comfort, tread wear and fuel economy.

A tyre pressure monitoring system is a useful feature that will warn of a slow leak or uneven wear due to defective wheel alignment, which is detected through a change in overall diameter of the tyre.

Whenever you notice a mild variation in the display, it would be prudent to observe if the trend continues and whether it is one particular tyre. While a 5 per cent difference is not critical, bigger variations should be checked without delay.

Keeping all four tyres to specified pressure is a routine that should not be neglected.

Motorists often pay little attention to tyre pressure. Try to observe the tyres of a car you are following and, seven out of 10 times, you can see the side-walls bulging (meaning they are under-inflated).

This, first of all, significantly increases fuel consumption. The grip and steering precision of the vehicle will also be adversely affected.

Under-inflated tyres may, in some cases, improve ride comfort, but that would be at the expense of safety.

Deterioration in on-road performance also results when there is excessive over-inflation.

There are no rules as to how often you should check tyre pressure, but make it a routine to do it at least once a month if you do not have an in-built monitoring system.

SHREEJIT CHANGAROTH

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe