I think I pumped my car tyres with too much air. How does that affect handling?


Driving with overinflated tyres can put you and other passengers in the vehicle in grave danger. This is due in large part to the increased risk of a blowout caused by excessive tyre pressure. When a tyre is under- or over-inflated, it loses stability, which has an adverse effect on handling, cornering, and stopping. Here's a quick explanation from of what happens if you overinflate your tyres and how it affects handling.


How Does Over-Inflation Affect Handling? 

The tyre pressure has a significant impact on the car's handling. Even a single psi loss can cause a significant difference in the car's handling, especially on wet roads. Lower tyre pressures and fewer tyres provide less load capacity, whereas rising inflation levels and larger tyres provide greater load capacity.


A properly filled tyre receives adequate support from the controlled air pressure, resulting in equal weight distribution across the footprint. An under-inflated tyre, on the other hand, will wear the shoulder sections of the tread faster than the centre. This occurs because the air pressure in the tread's centre is insufficient to support the tread's fair share of the weight.


As they roll, the tyres smoothly pump air around and through the surface designs. Furthermore, when tyres come into touch with wet roadways during rainstorms, the tread depth, vehicle speed, and weight affect whether the tyres may hydroplane. The water will lessen the friction between the tyres and the road, resulting in a loss of traction. If this happens, you should never slam on the brakes. Remove your foot from the gas pedal gradually until your steering returns to normal. A properly filled tyre will have enough pressure in the centre of its tread to prevent it from collapsing. In wet weather, driving at the limit of a tyre's capability is perilous, but a car with properly inflated tyres will provide good handling. Driving the car with under-inflated rear tyres is much more difficult and requires the driver to slow down in order to regain control of the wheels.


While tyre manufacturers can build tyres with outstanding hydroplaning resistance and wet traction, poor tyre inflation pressure maintenance will render a good tyre no safe. Therefore, you should always change your tyre pressures according to the instructions on the vehicle's tyre placard or in the user's handbook. To avoid problems, check your inflation levels at least once per month, well before any highway excursions.


Wear and Tear

Incorrect tyre pressure not only impacts handling, but it also leads to a slew of additional issues, such as excessive tyre wear. It can also cause damage to the tyre sidewalls, which can lead to tyre bursting. It is recommended to maintain equal tyre pressure on all sides, i.e., back and front. Too-full tyres will be unable to deviate as much, making them less adaptive when confronted with road hazards such as potholes.


In addition, overinflation might make your tyres more sensitive to damage. Excessive air pressure can also deform the shape of the tyre, resulting in less grip and more wear and tear in the centre. Tires that have been frequently overinflated may wear out more quickly, depending on the circumstances.


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