Watch your tire pressure.
Your tire is (supposed to be) the only part of your car that contacts the road. The specific part of the tire that touches the road is called the contact patch. Changing your tire pressure changes the way that contact patch touches the road.
- Too little air pressure will cause inconsistent wear, unnecessary drag between the tire and the road and can cause the sidewall (the part between the edge of the tread and the wheel) to soften, negatively affecting the way your car handles.
- Too much air pressure will cause your tire to balloon, which means only the center of your tire’s tread will contact the road. This causes it to wear faster than the rest of the tire. Also, because only the center of the tread is touching the road, your contact patch is reduced, leading to less overall grip and poor handling.
Tires on all vehicles are produced to be run at a specific air pressure to optimize their capabilities. Most passenger cars run around 30-35psi of pressure in each tire. Monitoring your tires will help you keep your car handling like it’s supposed to and result in the best gas mileage. Be sure to always carry a tire pressure gauge in your car and check your pressures every few weeks, your wallet will thank you!