By Nnamdi Ikeh-Akabogu (FRSCN)

Tyre pressure is a measure of the amount of air in a vehicle’s tyres, in pounds per square inch (psi). The required service involves checking the tyre pressure with a pressure gauge, at least monthly, if not more frequently. Having the proper tyre pressure is a crucial safety issue.

Next to the brakes, the tyres are the most important safety devices on your car. Incorrect tyre pressure will compromise cornering, braking and stability.

In the worst-case scenario, improper tyre pressure can lead to tyre failure – and a serious crash.

Incorrect tyre pressure also will affect your comfort, fuel economy and tyre life.


If tyre pressure is too high, then less of the tyre touches the ground. As a consequence, your car will bounce around on the road.

When your tyres are bouncing instead of firmly planted on the road, friction suffers and so do your braking distances. You’ll also feel a decrease in ride comfort.


If tyre pressure is too low, then too much of the tyre’s surface area touches the ground, which increases friction between the road and the tire.

As a result, not only will your tires wear prematurely, but they also could overheat.

Overheating can lead to tread separation – and a nasty crash.

One sign of low tire pressure is if your tyres squeal when cornering.


You need to gauge your tyre pressure frequently even if your tyres aren’t leaking this is because tyre pressure also changes with the temperature outside.

Tyre pressure decreases by about 1 pound per square inch for every degree drop in outside air temperature.

Tyre pressure can be checked at any time of the day but it is best to check after the vehicle has been sitting for a few hours or been driven after some few kilometers

This is because it is best to check the tyre pressure when it is cold as pressure increases when tyre is hot.


It is unsafe to inflate your tyres to the pressure listed on the tyre itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tyres can hold, not the recommended pressure for the vehicle

The recommended tyre pressure is almost always lower than the maximum tyre pressure.

Check your owner’s manual to find out where to look on your vehicle to find the recommended measurement.

This number usually is indicated either on the driver’s door pillar, the glove compartment door, the bonnet or on the fuel filler door.  The placard also displays manufacturers’ tyre sizes.

The traffic expert is DCC Nnamdi Ikeh-Akabogu, DCC Morning and Evaluation (M&E), Special Duties and External Relations (SEDER), FRCC HQ, Abuja.

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