Winter temperatures press up against both your skin and the rubber of your tires

Tire Pressure
Tire Pressure(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 5:20 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Last week, record setting warm temperatures had winter time in the Hills feeling a bit more like summer.

However, this week, winter has arrived.

When the cold presses up against your skin, it’s doing the same against the rubber of your tires.

”Hot, cold. You know,” says Nathan Anderson, Lead Technician at Advanced Auto Repair, “we have extreme weather changes.”

During those changes, some elements expand or contract. Including what’s in your tires.

“Wintertime comes, everything shrinks down where the tire meets the wheel on your car. We can lose some air pressure as stuff contracts with the cold,” says Anderson.

That’s when that pesky check tire pressure light comes on in your car.

“We’ve gotten 20, 30 or 50 degrees colder than we were. Now, your pressures two, three, four pounds [lower]. If your lights do come on, make sure you do check them. Just make sure you’re not riding around town on low tires or flat tires,” says Anderson.

If you’re unsure of where to tell where your tire pressure ought’ to be there’s a spot to check, “inside your driver’s door jam, most cars give you the recommended for the tires on that car.”

If your cars perfect on a warm day, but drops enough to trigger your light on a cold morning, Anderson says, “you might try going a pound or two higher.”

Pulling tire pressure aside, there’s another age old question when the temperature dips... Do you need to let your car run for a while before you drive it?

“Oh,” says Anderson with a laugh, “I’ll get in trouble here. You don’t need to let it warm up. The day’s of letting a car idle for 20, 30 minutes to get it up and warm [are no longer here], unless you really want that interior to be toasty warm for you... you’re just wasting fuel.”

He says although he’d avoid full throttle right out of the gates, modern computers can monitor the cars needs well enough to adjust accordingly.

“Cars are able to self adjust for this cold weather and they’re able to drive alright,” says Anderson.

He does, however, admit he might catch some flack for that answer.

“I’m sure there are people who would disagree with me on that,” says Anderson smiling.

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