What tyre pressure is best for your tyres in winter?

The optimal pressure for the tyres installed in your car is usually recommended by the car’s manufacturer. Depending on the vehicle, this information can be found:

  • on the fuel cap,
  • in the glove compartment,
  • on the door,
  • near the driver’s door.

man checking tyre pressure

To maintain the correct tyre pressure in your tyres, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of factors that can affect the pressure of the air in your tyres. The four main factors that change tyre pressure are: the ambient temperature (i.e. the air temperature outside the tyre), exposure to sun, the temperature of the tyre itself and leakage (either natural or by a puncture).

Every vehicle manufacturer has a recommended tyre and recommended inflation pressure for that tyre based on the weight and characteristics of the vehicle called the cold inflation pressure, but the actual pressure in the tyre can vary significantly due to the weather, for example. 

tyre valve close-up

How does the outside temperature influence the pressure in your tyres?

Let’s imagine that your car has a recommended pressure of 2 bar. The tyre was inflated to the recommended pressure in a garage, in a temperature of approx. 20°C. Let's look at the influence that temperature has:

At 0°C, the pressure in this tyre will fall to 1.8 bar and it will drop even further as the temperature falls below 0°C.

That's why it is so important to check your tyre pressure in the winter more often than in the summer, even once a week. Especially if the temperature changes a lot.

What are the effects of insufficient tyre pressure?

  • longer braking distance,
  • worse steering
  • skidding,
  • “floating" on corners,
  • worse grip,
  • increased fuel consumption,
  • significantly decreased durability.

To ensure you always have the correct tyre pressure in your tyres, increase the pressure by 0.2 bar in the winter.

man’s hand adjusting tyre pressure

Correct pressure ensures the best possible grip, which is especially important in winter. In practice, it is not always possible to adjust the pressure according to the temperature outside, especially when the weather is changing. That's why it is recommended that you increase the pressure by 0.2 bar when you know that low temperatures are there to stay for some time. 

Just be sure to remember to decrease the pressure to the level recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer once the temperatures rise again.