AAA advises drivers to ensure tires are properly inflated as winter weather approaches

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 5:28 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — With the recent wet weather and cooler temperatures there is an increase in slick and icy roads and properly inflated tires are more important than ever.

Properly inflated tires improve handling, braking, and fuel efficiency and reduce the chances of a blowout which can cause a serious crash. Most modern vehicles do have tire pressure monitoring systems.

AAA recently tested eleven vehicles including dedans, pickups, and SUVs model years 2022-2024, and tested their air pressure sensors mounted in each wheel.

While the monitoring systems were fairly accurate when the tires were underinflated to 75% of the manufacturer recommendations the amber warning light on the dashboard only lit up in only five of the eleven vehicles.

“So, it just gives you an idea that although the systems are doing something and they are helpful, they aren’t necessarily prescribing an action right away,” said AAA spokesman Matthew Conde. “So, we do need to be monitoring and if things look a little low, well, we need to, just maybe, double-check that visually and maybe even with a tire pressure gauge just to make sure.”

Conde also said to check your vehicle’s tire tread depth to ensure it is deep enough for proper traction and it will repel water away to prevent hydroplaning.