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Heather’s Weather Lab: Automotive Tip to Save $100

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – One automotive tip can help you save more than a $100 in 2014.

Often times a tire pressure monitor will go off in your car. It’s trying to let you know that the tire pressure needs to be checked.

“People come in all day long with their tire pressure monitor on,” said Chase Summerford at Miller OK Tires in Columbus.

Chase works with tires day in and day.

Most tires on standard passenger cars need 32 psi. The numbers can vary for different vehicles, but whatever the number, pressure changes when the weather gets cold.

“Compressed air that you find at a gas station is wet. So what it does is it can shrink those tires in cold weather,” said Summerford.

Anytime the temperature outside changes drastically, it will affect the pressure inside of the tire. If you don’t get the tire pressure corrected, you’ll start getting bad gas mileage. That’s because a slightly deflated tire increases the amount of friction between the tire and the road. Plus your tires won’t last as long and your vehicle won’t handle as well. That could cost you more than $100 per year in automotive expenses.

About five years ago, mechanics starting using nitrogen to fill up tires. This type of gas is not as wet. That means the weather won’t affect the pressure of the tire as much.

“It’s (nitrogen) a lot better for your tires because it’s a dry gas and it doesn’t eat into our wheels or your tires over time and it doesn’t escape as easily,” said Summerford.

Chase warns against a myth that you can’t add air to a tire filled with nitrogen.

“You can put air in it and make it up here (Miller Ok Tires) and then add nitrogen in,” said Summerford.

Adding air to a nitrogen filled tire won’t cause any explosions.

Hot weather affects tire pressure as well, Your tires can over inflate on hot summer days. Experts say best time to check the tire pressure in your car is first thing in the morning.