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Discover Tyres

What Happens if Your Tyres are Overinflated?

Close up of a car tyre that has experienced a dangerous tyre blowout.
No tyre is perfectly air tight. Over time air slowly bleeds through a tyre’s structure and it’s not unusual for a tyre to lose somewhere between 1 and 3 PSI each month. As a result, checking and maintaining your tyre pressures is an important part of regular vehicle maintenance.
The recommended pressures for your tyres can be found in your owner’s manual, or on the tyre placard sticker, often found in your driver's door jamb.
When your tyres are inflated to their recommended pressures, tyre life, vehicle safety, fuel costs and vehicle performance will all benefit. What happens then when you accidentally over inflate your tyres?

Does it Matter if You Overinflate Your Tyres?

The brief answer to this question is yes, it can be a significant concern if you over inflate your tyres and do not correct the issue. Driving on overinflated tyres is both damaging to your vehicle and puts your safety at an increased risk.
Occasionally, it may be beneficial to slightly over-inflate your tyres by a few PSI. For example, when carrying a heavy payload in the vehicle a weighted down tyre at the ‘correct’ pressures can suffer the same issue as an underinflated tyre, that is, overheating and potential blowouts. If you are at all unsure, contact your local BestDrive store to speak with an expert.

  • Safety Concerns Associated with Overinflated Tyres:

Overinflated tyres compromise your on road safety by increasing your chances of experiencing a tyre blowout, which can be a sudden and unexpected incident.
Safety features on your car may become compromised as a result of overinflated tyres. This includes driver assistance functions such as the anti-lock braking system, which is designed to work when the tyres are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Tyre Wear and Damage Associated with Overinflated Tyres:

Overinflated tyres are also more susceptible to damage from potholes, curbs or debris as the tyre becomes stiff and inflexible when overinflated. They will also compromise driver and passenger comfort with bumps and dips in the road becoming far more noticeable.
When your tyres are excessively overinflated the shape of the tyre may become distorted causing the centre of the tyre to bulge. This results in only a thin strip in the centre of the tyre making contact with the road surface resulting in decreased traction. It can also create uneven wear causing reduced tyre life and increases your chances of a tyre blowout. 
Close up of a person’s hand removing the cap off a car tyre valve stem.

How do you Fix Overinflated Tyres?

If you find that you’ve accidentally over inflated your tyres the problem is easily fixed. Remember that when checking and adjusting tyre pressures the intention is to ensure your tyres are at the car manufacturer’s recommended cold tyre pressure. This means you should never top up inflation pressures on warm tyres, or read their pressures when warm.
Your tyres need to be cold. This means checking them first thing in the morning before your vehicle has been driven, or when the car has been parked for at least three hours giving the tyres time to cool down.
To get the most accurate reading, it is a good idea to invest in your own quality pressure gauge, which can be purchased from your nearest auto parts store. Alternatively, you can use one at your local service station though be aware that it may have been dropped on many occasions which will affect the accuracy of the reading.
Once you are confident that you have completed an accurate reading of all your tyres (spare tyre included if applicable) then you can adjust the pressures as needed. In instances where your tyres are overinflated, you can let some air back out of the tyre by removing the valve dust cap and then pushing on the valve core with a key or a pen. 
It’s important that once you’ve adjusted pressures as required, you repeat the process of checking the pressure of each tyre to ensure they are at the recommended pressures.
Person reading the pressure of a car tyre using a pressure gauge.
Bumps in the road, driving conditions, seasonal changes and the weight your vehicle is carrying or towing will all have an impact on, and alter your tyre pressures. Taking the time to check and adjust tyre pressures as needed once a month is a great way to enhance your on road safety, driver and passenger comfort, and increase tyre life.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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